Saturday, August 6, 2011

DRIVE ACROSS THE STATE

It is the weekend of my Aunt June's funeral.  She passed away last Wednesday evening after a tremendously long battle with strokes, seizures and cancer.  She fought hard and she fought until she could fight no more.  She was a good aunt, as all of my aunts are.  I am extremely lucky in that department.

I drove my parents to St. Louis on Friday morning.   We were set to leave at ten o'clock but thanks to my mother we didn't depart until two minutes after ten. During that two minutes it began to rain.  It would be a rain we would never be able to outrun the whole trip because of those two minutes.

During those two minutes three cars went off the road on I-70 causing major slowdowns and putting us back even further in our schedule.I figure those two minutes that mom took writing Justin a note could have saved us forty-five minutes on the road.

I forgive my mother for those two minutes even though it did put us in rain and heavy traffic for four hours. In the end we did eventually arrive at our destination so I guess in the big scheme of those those oh so important two minutes can be or should be readily forgotten.

Phone calls were a big part of the trip.  My sister Carol Jeanne called and mom tried to convince Carol that mom was doing the driving.  Two things helped my older sister from buying into this ruse.  Mom is nearly blind from macular degeneration and she hasn't driven a car in over twenty years.  If it weren't for those two facts who knows what Carol's reaction may have been.

Then my little brother Bob called and talked a bit.  During this conversation mom detailed the note she had written to Justin that caused us our two minute delay, of which we are readily forgetting about.  So now Justin had note on what he was supposed to do as well as his father telling him what he was supposed to do

Then Justin called and once again the note that had made us two minutes late in leaving and we are readily forgetting about was told to Justin.  Now Justin had a note telling him what to do, His father telling him what to do and his grandmother, author of the note that set us back two minutes from scheduled leave time of which we are readily forgetting to remind him of what he was suppose to do.  I hope Justin did what was specified in the note that set us back two crucial minutes of which we are forgetting about because otherwise it would be a wasted two minutes and we would have gone through the rain and the three cars off the road for no reason at all.  Thankfully we are forgetting the note that set off this sequence of events of driving through the rain and coming upon three accidents.

It was a somber mood in the car as we were all aware of what we were going to St. Louis for.  In the past it might be for a family get together.  I could be a trip to go see a Cardinal baseball game.  It could be to meet Elaine halfway and have some visit time with her.  But most of all past trips were made to visit and enjoy the company of Jack ans June, two people forged into one.  That would not be the case this time.  June would not be there.

When we walked into the house it is immediately apparent that there was a missing hole that had always been there.  June use to get so excited when people would come to visit them.  That excitement was missing.  Jack was telling stories without being interrupted with corrections every two minutes for the first time in my memory.  That was always one of the joy of seeing the two of them together.  Neither of them ever saw the same event with the same facts.  A five minute story could easily be stretched out to fifteen minutes.  That was missing big time and you felt it in your sould that June wasn't there to keep Jack in line.

My cousin Dawn knows that I have problems with loud noises and crowds of people.  As soon as we arrived Dawn took me out grocery shopping followed by a trip over to her house.  Dawn has one of the nicest cutest little houses I have seen.  It is made of brick and is very orderly.  Her attic is a shrine to the St.Louis professional sports teams as well as the Missouri Tigers.  It was very impressive indeed.  She had been holding a Sammy Sosa autographed program following the events of the season that McGwirer and Sosa had chased after the home run record in a single season.   Really touched my heart when she handed it to me.

We sat down to a spread of about eight pizzas and ate together.  We reminisced about my Aunt June and what a special lady she was   It wasn't a depressing talk about her but rather a fun talk, remembering things and events long set onto the back of our collective remembrances.

Over the next few days we will honor June more.  We will have a service for her and finally we will lay her to rest.  Even though she will not be present in the house anymore, her family will never forget her, just as we have never forgotten those that went before her.

Love you June and will miss you.

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