Monday, October 11, 2010



It says, "Not here anymore. Return to sender." Which is sort of how I feel about the memorial service we had for my uncle on the first weekend of October. It was a chance to scatter his ashes on a hill at the farm where he and my father's siblings and other close kin (yes, in Missouri we can get away with using the word 'kin') spent a lot of time as children. It was an opportunity to laugh, cry, eat and drink; to do everything we do in life, together with family members that I don't know as well as I wish to, and thereby get to know them better. My other uncle gave a truly moving eulogy; my cousins and I embraced each other as we watched him toss what remained of his brother to the wind. I'm not sure if I feel Closure--we say that as if psychological closure is like surgical closure, just toss in a couple sutures and things will heal without incident--but it was a good way to say goodbye, if not to resolve everything all of us in the family have been feeling and thinking.

And then the drinking began (ok, my couisin already had some whiskey in his coffee before we started up the hill, and I'd already had a glass and a half of wine, but you know what I mean).
The barn at the farm in Bland, Missouri. Yes, that's right, Bland, Missouri. Go ahead. Type it in on Google maps. It exists.There are cows, too. One dropped a calf as we drove up the gravel road. Felt like a city slicker.

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