December 19, 2005

Cleaning up loose ends

I spent most of Saturday morning helping my uncle pack and ship the remainder of my grandfather's belongings out to both my uncles in California. For which, UPS wanted a shocking sum of money, by the way. I'd like to say it was cathartic, or some other such psychobabble like thing that emphasizes healing and being in touch with your feelings and being good to the earth. It wasn't. It was just a loose end. We all come to loose ends, I suppose. We leave behind wonderful memories and a huge pile of junk that has to be disposed of, stuff that was meaningful to you and that you kept for some reason that is not at all apparent to those who come cleaning up after you. Some of it was clearly important, and that was shipped.

I took a box for myself with maybe 30 or 40 CD's, mostly classical music. My grandfather liked them and that was good enough for me. In the box was a very nice selection of Gilbert & Sullivan songs. I popped it in the CD player in the car for the ride home, to share it with my kids. My kids had spent the morning with my parents and I picked them up after finishing up with my uncle and dropping him back off at the train. I have no idea why I am noting these logistical details but I can't seem to make myself stop. So be it.

As we were driving through Connecticut, I heard the beginnings of one of my favorite songs, "I am the very model of a modern major general" and I warned the kids that this next song was going to be a doozy. Of course, since they have excellent taste, they loved it. They started dancing in the back seat to the song and demanded it be turned up, which I did. And then I started to cry at the same time I was laughing. Laughing at their antics and crying because I knew that my grandfather would have loved that his CD had brought the kids so much pleasure. And I was sorry he wasn't there to see it.

Its the little things that get you. Like just noticing that I have his name written on my telephone speed dial.

Another loose end. I guess it isn't necessary to try to get them all.

Posted by Random Penseur at December 19, 2005 02:46 PM | TrackBack

i think that some loose ends....are nice to have around.

Posted by: sn at December 20, 2005 07:50 AM

It's not just the loose ends, RP. It will be all the memories from now on too. 10 years after my Dad died, I saw a group of motorcycles packed and heading North for some bike tour, and, driving down the interstate to work, the tears just started flowing because I miss that so much with him. Almost 20 years later, I still have his old work number in my rolodex.
I'm glad you have your children to share all those memories with.

Posted by: jules at December 20, 2005 11:35 AM

You're mention of noticing your grandfather's name on your speed dial reminds me of something that happened recently.

My friend Lawruh's older brother, whom she adored, died recently. (brother, late of Winter Songs). She had left a voicemail message for him the morning that he died -- not knowing yet that he had.

A couple of weeks after the funeral, just as she was getting her bearings back in order, Lawruh received a message on her cellphone that a message she'd sent some time ago hadn't been retrieved. She listened to a recorded voice tell her: "Your message on September 16th to...", and then her brother's voice: "Ira Goldwyn", and then the first voice: "was not retrieved..."

That kind of moment.. well... I can try to imagine it but, then again, I don't think I can. .

Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 20, 2005 10:06 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?