Family news is well served by letters. There’s room for explanation and context. It’s just that sometimes there is the matter of timing.
Not 20 minutes after this letter was out the door did my cousin Tom deliver the expected news about his mother, my aunt Mary.
She had a good life, a long life, and was a good egg. I did not make the trip to Portland for her memorial service for reasons that will be explained next week, but I set aside time to remember her nonetheless.
November 12, 2013
Ellen/Reid: By the time you receive this, we may already know about aunt Mary. She is a dear soul; never failed to ask about you two, your whereabouts and lives. Tom said he and his siblings are really fine with things. With her husband gone, and her long-sought cruise of the fjords behind her, it was just that time. Her strokes must have been severe. She is not being fed. Per her instructions, her children will allow nature to take its course. I talked to your uncle yesterday and he and I will head to Portland for the services. Like uncle Henry’s, it won’t be necessarily remorseful but a recognition of her life. That’s how she would have wanted it.
Me, too. It reminds me to follow Mary’s lead. When such time comes for your old man, if I’m tethered to any contraptions that are only there to prolong a lights-out existence, pull the plug out of the wall. Flip a coin for the privilege if you have to. That’s how I want things done. By sheer coincidence earlier this past weekend, someone in my golf group referred me to an estate attorney at her old law firm. Those wheels are now rolling.
The left wrist that sprang like a bungee cord while trying to hold up 900 lbs. of tilting Harley is just killing me. I’ve tried various wraps but nothing really is sturdy enough. What’s weird is that typing, working the machines at the gym or lifting grocery bags isn’t bothersome. But when I rotate it clockwise to put a carton of eggs in the fridge or just roll over in bed, there is straight hell to pay. I don’t want to give up golf – I’m trying to adjust my swing to compensate – but I might go in to get it looked at. I took a lash at the ball from an awkward lie this weekend and I could hear something happening and it wasn’t good. I’ll make that decision toward the end of this week.
The sweat equity in the gym is paying off. I’ve officially gone past the initial 10 lb. weight loss goal. The hated mirrors don’t adequately reflect that but I’ll go with what the scale and looser jeans say. It’s not that I’m necessarily eating better; I plowed through a normal size bag of chips for lunch yesterday. I haven’t had a serving of beef in more than a month, and there’s no more peanut butter slathered onto sliced apples for lunch. Now it’s just low fat yogurt and an apple (plus a very small teaspoon of PB. I can’t be expected to give up everything. Lent is long past).
Ellen, I’m glad the toys/books for Emma at Hilton Head have passed muster with you. Reid, you’re gonna have to do two things while there: read to Emma and changer her diaper(s). I’d pay to see that. You’ve avoided it long enough. None of this ‘but I’m just an uncle’ nonsense. You have to step up to the plate. The menu is coming together – nothing like a manly weekend night spent sorting through a pile of recipes clipped out of the newspaper – to bring a T-day menu into focus. Other non-turkey meals will include real corn bread, low country boil, and maybe buttermilk biscuits. Get ready to loosen your belts. The weekend won’t be for food sissies. What’s Emma want to eat? I know Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck?) is the preferred store for her food. That’s okay.
To get back to the Harley, I’m looking ahead to retirement which would kick off with what I’m calling the Touch ‘Em All Tour. I’d prep the Heritage Softail (just at 50,000 miles now), load up a tent on the back, and ride to each of the lower 48 states. The route has yet to be determined but it would be a lot of fun. Probably an early summertime thing. Of course, it would include nights with you guys (I’d avoid Ben Franklin’s ‘Guests, like fish, go bad in two days’ admonition so don’t worry that I’d overstay my welcome). I’ve already got a blog URL set aside for it. Who knows how long such an adventure would take? But that’s not the point. ‘Get your motor running’ sang John Kaye and Steppenwolf. True then, true now.