There were two girls among us siblings, and one of them was born on this date in 1955, meaning she'd be 61 today. She didn't make it to 61; she barely made it past 22. And every year on this date I've felt some sort of twinge of regret; she was the sort of Good Person that I didn't try hard enough to be, and she went through travails at the level of Job, the worst of which was bearing two children and watching them die right after birth. It's no wonder that when pneumonia came, she willingly went with it.

And that wasn't the end of it, either:

Somewhere in the confusion following her funeral, nobody got around to ordering so much as the smallest marker for the poor girl's grave. It was understood, they tell me, that Dear Old Dad would take care of this, inasmuch as the grieving widower was in the service and had little or no money to spare for such things, but hours turned to days turned to months and then years and the grass grew and died and grew again until one day in 2000 when I was there and went totally to pieces and still nothing had been done.

This, I decided, would not stand, and it took me rather a long time to address the issue, but I did, though it took me several years and most of the credit on my MasterCard of the day.

And today, with my own demise not formally forecast but seemingly too close for comfort, I find myself contemplating my own resting place. For reference: both parents, two siblings and one niece were buried at Resthaven, in the south end of Oklahoma City.

And because such things need to be on record, I'd like to request a couple of piano pieces be played at whatever service is held:

This latter number is better experienced, I think, here.

And you know, I don't really care so much about the legal stuff: even needing some fixes, the house will sell for a fair bit above whatever remains owing on the mortgage, and there's some small five-digit sum due from life insurance. Maybe I'll even be missed by a few. And if somehow I'm still around in three years, I'll be on the brink of retirement, and I'll have earned the right to laugh at all this.

For now, though, all I know is that there's a chance the Reaper, that scythe-wielding son of a bitch, is on alert.

The Vent

  18 November 2016

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