Friday, August 30, 2013

Hoologies, Tributes and Speeches

You're going to think "I can't waste time watching a 19 minute video", so save it for later when you can, or just watch a little right now and stop acting like you have more important things to do.

First of all, this video reminded me so much of my step dad Bub. He and Uncle Frank were cut from the same cloth: men who joined the Army instead of going to college (and weren't insecure about it), who knew how to change a tire, fix anything with a screw driver or duct tape, and throw a baseball. These guys woke up early, paid their bills on time and got their shoes shined. Their names were John or James or William or  Robert and they were low maintenance and easy to get along with; they could talk to anyone, weren't shy, and loved to tease or knock you down a peg or two.

Second of all it reminded me of the way, when you're talking about a person who just died, that grief comes in waves, that it sneaks up on you with the memory of a detail. I remember when I spoke at Bub's funeral, one of the first things I talked about was that out of 800 men in his batallion who fought in the war, only 3 came back. Three. It stunned me. Even though I had known that detail forever, there was something about standing in front of 100 people and saying it out loud that made me have a realization in the second or two where the words were coming out of my mouth: he was lucky. He knew he was lucky and he always said he was lucky but until that moment I had only ever thought it applied to poker or lottery tickets or getting away with some sort of devilry.

Third it made me realize that it's too bad no one gets to hear their eulogy. It's weird, but I had been thinking about this even before watching this video, maybe because it's my birthday in two days and I've always thought that would be fun to have a eulogy party. It might be weird, I know, and if they weren't all fantastic and moving I'd be really disappointed. Writing a good one really requires a certain amount of sorrow and that would be hard for my friends and family members to summon if they were half annoyed at such a request in the first place.

So watch the video when you can, tell someone you're proud of them, and have a great weekend. Cheers Big Ears.


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