are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.
harriet beecher stowe
I was at another funeral on Monday. He was an older man and in poor health, but no one anticipated the sudden heart attack that took his life. He was declining, not dying.
Such events make one melancholy. Thoughtful. Introspective.
He was at once on the periphery yet so integral to my life since I was born. His extended family a familiar extension of my small family. As my brother and I grew older and moved away from the home where Fred lived across the street and eventually away from the city we grew up in, we lost touch except through anecdotes and occasional Christmas visits. But the connection is forever there.
We see each other and the time melts away in uneven patterns. We are all older. The next generation is older and the family resemblances are happily and sometimes shockingly noted. The memories return, unbidden, erupting.
"Oh it is so nice to see you"
"It has been so long, hasn't it"
"I hope to see you again soon"
And you can feel the air ever so slightly move. It changes, it reverses as the words are said. As the words are left unsaid.
Because you know, you both know, that it will likely be at the next funeral that you see one another again.
geewits had a link on a post about a week ago for a musical interlude by her FIL. I thought of Fred when I heard her Bill's rendition of A Froggie Went A Courtin and listened to the recording several times. Fred was a musician at heart. He loved nothing better than playing his banjo or guitar. He tried to teach me that song when I got my first guitar, but I was never very good. Thanks, geewits, I'll keep listening to Bill singing and think of Fred's big smile as he plays his banjo. A perfect composite.