old people and babies


The funeral I played yesterday was an easy one. The family had a strong Lutheran background. The woman we memorialized was the mother-in-law of the Lutheran minister I worked for for a while, Dennis Remeinschneider. He and his wife now attend Grace. As I have said before we have a lot of clergy in our pews.

The peace took longer than usual at this funeral. This is the time in the service when people can “greet” each other, usually with a handshake, sometimes a kiss or an embrace. The peace at this funeral took longer than usual. I noticed an elderly man being slowly led around to greet people. The widower obviously. Then I remembered that this man was in full blown Alzheimer’s disease. I watched as he  moved carefully but with obvious confusion at the funeral of his wife.

After the funeral, I came home and Eileen was just getting up. She had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and then we went to the Grocery store to replenish a few supplies. We came home. I had a salad. We played boggle.

Then Eileen and  I went to visit my Mom. The onerous task I had was to tell Mom that her sister, Ella, had died on Monday and had been buried on Saturday before we could get back from England. I only found this out by googling and finding Aunt Ella’s obit. I was disappointed that my cousins, Ella’s children, had not reached out me with this information. It is as though I see them more as family than they see me. And of course they were in the midst of grieving for their mother, not a high functioning time. Ah well. I am planning on sending condolences cards and finding out a way to donate a memorial for my Aunt.

I had decided not to tell Mom that I “had some bad news for her.” Instead after we had greeted her, I simply told her that Aunt Ella died Monday. As it sank in, she drew in a little breath. Her lower lip trembled a bit. In the ensuing silence I handed her a large print version of the obituary, I had printed up for her. She read it slowly and sadly.

Later I was thinking about the people in my life, the old ones and the new ones. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be with Lucy, my newest grandchild. Both she and Alex seem so beautiful, fresh and full of life and potential.  On the other end of the spectrum are my Aunt Ella who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, the confused widower at the morning funeral, and my beloved Mom realizing her sister was dead.

Fiction Podcast: Etgar Keret Reads Donald Barthelme – The New Yorker

The story is called “Chablis” and it fits in with my pondering of babies. It’s the not-quite-congenial pondering of a new Dad on his wife and child.

I am adjusting to resuming my normal time zone. I haven’t quite gotten there yet. This morning I awoke around 3:30 or so and couldn’t get back to sleep. Fortunately, this charming story was playing on my tablet. It reminded me of being with young parents lately. I am very impressed with my daughters and their partners as Moms and Dads. As I knew would be the case, they are excellent and caring parents.

I remember shocking a friend of mine holding one of my babies. He said to me, “Steve! You are doting!” I replied something like, “Of course I am! It’s my kid!”

Blood Orange covers Philip Glass

This is cool. I don’t know Blood Orange but this inspired me to  check them out. I’m listening to Dev Hynes play this right now. Sounds good to me. Good interp.

Blood Orange – Augustine Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

Good link to explain lyrics and translate the Krio words at the end of the song.

Behind Putin’s Combativeness, Some See Motives Other Than Syria – The New York Times

Some good analysis.

In Somalia, U.S. Escalates a Shadow War – The New York Times

“This year alone, the United States has carried out airstrikes in seven countries and conducted Special Operations missions in many more.” We continue to kill.

Interview | Etgar Keret | Granta Mag

I love Granta. Here is Mr. Keret again.

He writes short stories and makes movie as well as does other stuff. Interesting comment from this interview: “I love this! I really believe that a story is a writer-reader collaboration. In films, I feel that the film-maker brings 90 per cent and the audience brings 10 per cent of the story. It’s not like in a story where you imagine the character’s voice, you imagine how he looks, you imagine how quickly things have happened. . . I would say that an average novel is a 70 per cent writer to 30 per cent reader split. In my stories, it’s a 50-50 split. I think we’re equal partners.”


2 thoughts on “old people and babies

    1. I love you, too! She was okay yesterday after church. I think it helps that we stop by daily and give her hugs and show her current pics of Alex and Lucy and fam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.