“Nelson, come here, I want you to meet someone,” my mom said at a funeral last week.
“This is Avis. She worked with your grandfather Buddy (who practiced as an OB/GYN here for the better part of a half-century), and she was in the OR when you were born.”
Avis confirmed her presence during my arrival.
“I was one of the first people to see you arrive in this world,” she said with a twinkle in her eye.
It was a beautiful visit. We talked for a few minutes about things, and she even let me know she was a reader of my weekly column.
We had been connected for 49 years, and it was my first realization of it. Avis looked at me in a way that made me feel a part of me belonged to her.
It was almost as if she was calculating the differences in the features of my face from June 22, 1964 until our visit the other day.
Her gray locks reminded me of my great-grandmother’s hair. She was the portrait of her age and position. Was she an angel? Would we ever meet again? Who knows?
We had both attended the funeral of my aunt Carole’s husband Lloyd Wilson. Lloyd was another member of the greatest generation. He was a tail gunner on a B-24 in the second World War. An unenviable assignment as the preacher pointed out that while a B-17 would float if shot down a B-24 would simply sink. Thus, it made the tail gunner’s assignment even more dangerous than simply shooting at chasing German warplanes.
Surely the video game my son plays cannot capture the feelings those men went through. Small wonder they came to be called the Greatest Generation.
Some of us talked about the day. We had some really good laughs. I proclaimed how much I enjoyed funerals because people are so real during the whole thing. My Aunt Eloise asserted her favorite was a wedding. She has put on a couple of fine ones during the past two years.
Both weddings and funerals should involve laughter and tears. They remind us of many of the best things in life. The people we love most dearly and the stories that go into the things that make up this wonderful adventure we call life.
To top it all off, I ran into my old friends Fritter and Mike during the wake.
We recalled a time when they were a part of a neighborhood pig cook, better known as a Cochon de lait in some circles, particularly Acadian.
I told them how much I had enjoyed their “pigbake” back in the day, and that it was an essential part of my bucket list to be crossed off in 2014.
Mike reflected on their events with a smile and even recommended his old pal Larry as a pigmaster. I beseeched him that it would be important if the two of them would regard me as an apprentice. It has to happen in my backyard in order to be official in the same way theirs was. What a memory. We left it that we might discuss it over dinner.
What a funeral. Thanks Lloyd.