Saturday, February 11, 2006

Show and Tell

From the May, 2005 service for my grandmother,

my cousin Roger's graceful proof

that I am not the only writer in the family.

I loved Aunt Molly for many things, most of them grander
than what I am about to remember to you

I loved the way she said my name

With a syrupy drawl paced slowly and deliberately
The blending of a low pipe organ and almost a yodel

She could stretch an extra syllable into the word
with a soft strength that made me feel grand and important
even as a very small child

And when she spoke my name I felt the family bond of every generation
from before Aunt Molly to the grandchildren I may someday have
She was larger than life in body and spirit and when she spoke my name
I was proud of from where I came

As her memories were being stolen away a little at a time
at a visit that was long overdue
I firmly expected that she would not know me
she rolled her eyes upward from where she sat
and without hesitation granted me her greatest gift save genetics
She called me by name

That this grand matriarch of our family will no longer utter my name is
cetainly the smallest tragedy of this loss we celebrate today
But it is not insignificant
It is that kind of minutia that is the fabric of our family

I will miss her great persona
I will miss the history that only she could impart
I will miss her boundless humor
I will miss the magical presence of her with her girls
I will miss the hats
I will miss the hands that were also my grandfather’s hands
I won’t have to miss the cooking because that she passed on
But I will miss her

And the way she said my name

...RDV...
05/14/2005


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