017. The Long Ride Home


Oh, life. You never do stop, do you? The Faultline concert we sucked bawls. Yet, we owned at dancing, stirring the crowd from the audience, and randomly swing dancing in the isles. Even when a certain non-dancing Pip was dragged up by her sister, and we improvised and laughed and just enjoyed life. I cried, when one of the lead vocalists sang “Amazing Grace”. without microphones, with his group, dedicated to his grandfather. I told him about Aunt Bobbie, afterwards. I just… it hurts to sing at a funeral, but it’s strangely releasing as well. I felt that in a small way, when I dedicated “Angel” to Uncle George. In a huge way, when I got on the pulpit-thing, whatever the church-stage is called, and sang for the family.

The wake was hard. She was laying in that casket, cold and unsmiling and so obviously not there anymore. It was almost hard to recognize her without the spirit inside, if that makes any sense. That was a dummy, a wax doll, some pale reflection. It hurt to see a husk, but it was made better by the pictures of her laughing, smiling, wedding days and ornaments. I heard Uncle David, her husband, as he said goodbye to her. Oh, gods. I can’t even remember what he said, and it wasn’t important. He just worded it so true, so heartbreakingly in love that I started crying again. “Goodbye, my soulmate. Our affair on this earth was too brief” and so much more. It was genuine. And painfully right, for a woman who changed so much in so many lives.

As for the funeral. Aunt Bobbie was a born-again Christian, so I was a bit ticked at the minister of the church asking for converts at the end, but it really was a beautiful ceremony. The flowers, the message were about Aunt Bobbie, her love of Christmas. Red and white and green arrangements. Uncle Johnny spoke about her, as family and her influence on others. How she took a man on a bicicle to a post office, when the place he ended up wouldn’t help him. Stopping for stranded cars. And so much more. Mommy spoke next, making everyone laugh and laugh, telling stories Bobbie would have loved to hear again and again. Including confetti, Wegmans, a clicking St.Jude’s valve, and Darry. Aunt Bobbie was there. She kept messing with mom, and my usually coherent mother kept messing up words “Her soulmate, the man she married, Darry- I mean, De- Sorry, David. Forgot to tell you about him. Her soulmate DAVID…” Uncle John (brother-in-law, not brother) spoke of her in her faith. This was really, really touching. I can understand why Christianity would get converts. The pastor annoyed me, though, quashing any remote feelings I may have for joining a religion. But. The idea that she’s up there, with Elka, with her Mommy… that moves me. And then the piano played, and I got up and sang. I did okay, I guess. I sang “Silent Night”, all this at the family’s request. I couldn’t finish the last note. I broke down, getting out a whisper as I bowed my head and cried.

We then filed out, a funeral procession to the grave. Please, for the love of all things, don’t bury me. Take my organs and burn the rest. It was beautiful, yes, but the utter pain outweighs it. I placed my flower on the casket and couldn’t help but say, to my dad “If I die before you, just get some gas and burn me in the backyard. ” We have a rather twisted sense of humor, yes.

After the funeral we gathered at Jojo’s, eating and reaffirming life with every gesture and touch. My mom’s side isn’t as touchy as my dad’s family, but the funeral drew us closer than usual.

There was a Christmas gathering of my mother’s family on the Eve. It was fun, actually. I’ve seen them more in two weeks than I have in years. I can finally tell my fraternal twin cousins apart. I learned more about the horde of teenaged cousins I vaguely knew before. And, best of all, I just spent time with them.

Christmas was good. More for the fact that we were all together, rather than presents. I appreciate my family more, even if I’m going a little stir-crazy at this point and am avoiding my dad’s idea of family time.

In other news, my friends are love, tech made me feel weak as a kitten and I need to lift weights. Macs are joy and bring people together in unlikely ways. Writer’s block sucks. Donnie Darko was amazing. The name of the other movie is Stay, not something beginning with C.

This entry has gotten rather long, but one last song tribute is needed for my own peace.

Long black limousine
Shiniest car I’ve ever seen
The back seat is nice and clean
She rides as quiet as a dream
Someone dug a hole six long feet in the ground
I said goodbye to you and I threw my roses down
Ain’t nothing left at all in the end of being proud
With me riding in this car, and you flying through the clouds

I’ve had some time to think about you
And watch the sun sink like a stone
I’ve had some time to think about you
On the long ride home

One day I took your tiny hand
Put your finger in the wedding band
Your daddy gave a piece of land
We laid ourselves the best of plans
Forty years go by with someone laying in your bed
Forty years of things you say you wish you’d never said
How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead
I wonder as I stare up at the sky turning red

I’ve had some time to think about you
And watch the sun sink like a stone
I’ve had some time to think about you
On the long ride home

Headlights staring at the driveway
The house is dark as it can be
I go inside and all is silent
It seems as empty as the inside of me

I’ve had some time to think about you
And watch the sun sink like a stone
I’ve had some time to think about you
On the long, on the long
Oh the long, on the long
On the long ride home


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