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February 17, 2008

I Don't Think Mom Will Need a T-Shirt

By: 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 work on.

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!!!

Posted by Rightdude at February 17, 2008 4:03 PM


Let's just hope Mom doesn't need a bra... I don't think mine will fit. :))

Posted by: Sister at February 20, 2008 4:40 PM

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