The Dude on the Right
As I continue to use my blogging for some psychotherapy in dealing with the
death of my father last month, a couple of strange thoughts hit me the last
couple of days, some now dealing with my Mom, brought on by the death of my Dad.
And as bizarre as this sounds, I’m wondering now what should be put in her
coffin. Since she’s still in the land of the living, I suppose we should just
ask her, but hopefully she won’t need a t-shirt.
Here’s the thing: Even with
my Dad’s many health issues, he always seemed to just soldier on, but with Mom
being diagnosed with lung cancer a few years back, and sorry, no offense Mom,
most of those in my family figured Dad would stick around and Mom would be the
one to go first. But Dad had other plans, because he always had to do things his
way, and last month his time on Earth was done. As we finalized his official
obituary (I’m still working on my version), we also found/wanted some things
buried with him.
In the couple of days following his death, as we were going through things,
we found his wedding ring, which he never wore as long as I could remember, but
it was stowed away, separately, distinctively, in his box of cufflinks. It was
decided Dad would be buried with his wedding ring on, and from my perspective,
to make sure, in Heaven, he remembered he couldn’t pick up other women.
It was also decided that Dad would be buried with a puzzle, because he liked
doing puzzles. We debated about burying him with an old puzzle he had already
completed, or a new puzzle for him to work on. So there, for him, is a puzzle of
the Chicago skyline that I gave him for Christmas but he never got a chance to
And as his official obituary stated, Dad enjoyed eating chocolate. One of his
favorites was a coconut/chocolate concoction called a "haystack." Back in Lorain
there was a chocolate/candy company called "Faroh’s" that had the best
"haystacks." They were made with long strands of coconut draped in tasty
chocolate, but sadly they aren’t there anymore. Dad did have some "haystacks"
left with him, even though the newer version from another supplier look like
turds with white speckles, and I have to admit, I snuck a few out of the box
before I left the rest for him for his eternity. Though not as pretty as the
Faroh’s brand, they were tasty. Sorry, Dad, I couldn’t resist.
But it wasn’t until the other day when I realized Dad had something of mine,
for the rest of forever, and it’s simply a t-shirt.
I normally don’t wear t-shirts but with the colder winter we have been having
this year, and my wanting to be a little more stylish, on colder days I started
wearing a white t-shirt, and with the pending passing of my Dad, I packed my
arsenal of four, white t-shirts for the trip back home. It wasn’t until the
other day when it was cold outside, and I was looking for a t-shirt, that I
realized I was one short, and that Dad was wearing my t-shirt. Forever.
You see, like most people dealing with the passing of a parent, there is
always that awkward part of what to have them wearing in their coffin. Dad
wasn’t a suit man and definitely not a jean’s man. His general attire, before he
become bedridden when it was just easier to stay in a hospital gown, was a dark
pair of slacks, usually blue, a t-shirt, and a flannel shirt in the winter,
something lighter in the summer. We found the pants, found a nice shirt, but
couldn’t find a crisp, white t-shirt in his dresser, so I gave Dad one last gift
– a t-shirt.
It was weird when it donned on me that Dad was buried with my t-shirt. It
didn’t make me sad, just seemed weird. I hope Mom won’t think it weird when we
ask her if she wants anything buried with her. I doubt she’ll need a t-shirt,
but when that time comes, I might just bring a spare one anyway.
That’s it for this one!
I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!