Archive for People

Theme Friday: People

Posted in Theme Fridays with tags , on July 30, 2010 by clancyjane

When a man is larger than life you can sometimes trick yourself into thinking he is also larger than death, and I sort of thought that would be true for Bobby Wayne. 

I say “sort of” because, when he told me goodbye, he also told me that except for dying he was already dead, and he’d never lied to me before.

Still.  I mean, come on.  This is BW we’re talking about.  He lived larger than larger than life.

Even so, there we were at his memorial service a couple of weeks later, grown men crying right along with me and my sister, with Bobby’s wife and children, his mother and brother and sisters, and everyone else who loved and will never forget him.

After the service I drove to Lucerne.  Paula was with me, and though she’d been there before, she hadn’t yet gone where we were going.  Dad was on my mind and I needed to put Pat’s marker on his grave.

We wound around through town, up the front hill and back across the highway to the cemetery, windows down for the sound of tires on the gravel.  I parked halfway between the old and the new, and Paula and I walked over to the edge of the old where the folks are.

“This is where we keep our people,” I said.  She nodded and looked around, and remarked how well looked after the hallowed ground was.  I told her it has to be, that in a town this small, our responsibility to take good care doesn’t end with death.

A little more than a year ago my brothers and sisters and I had carried our Dad across the grass in his casket, and sat him down where we were now standing.  Mom was gone.  It was up to us to see to him, and after the trouble in his first nursing home we couldn’t really trust him to anyone else.  The six of us carried him ourselves, and buried him there where the grass was now growing, thanks to Little Brother for taking good care to seed it and tend to the grave.

Back in Georgia two weeks later, I was chasing down some historical markers when I came across an overgrown field.  From the side road I could see stones of some sort, but couldn’t quite get a handle on what they were.  The ruins of an old building?  Abandoned cinder blocks?

I parked and made my way up the hill and into the middle of the brushy mess.  All along the hillside was grave after abandoned grave, some stones upright, and some nearly buried atop the people they’d been set to honor.  I walked carefully between them, from one to the next, reading the names I could and saying them aloud in prayer, but there were far too many to number or name individually.

The villanelles that come to mind on grounds like these were absent as I looked around the ruins, and cummings gnawed at me instead.  ee had wondered how Mister Death liked his blue eyed boy, but what I want to know is: WHOSE PEOPLE ARE THESE?

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Christine and Annie take on People.