Posts Tagged ‘death’

Destination: Funeral

20 February, 2014

You know how some people have a destination wedding? Well, I’m having a destination funeral. Oh, it’s not for me, it’s for my dad. He’s going to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

I looked at the Shutterfly site to find a suitable funeral announcement, but there were none there. I thought about adapting a birth announcement–the one with the picture of the baby sleeping and the words “Pure Heaven” underneath. I have a photo of my dad in extremis┬áthat would work nicely.

My dad will be buried with full military honors. It sounds like it will be quite a production, with a caisson, a bugler, and a 21-shot salute (3 guns, 7 shots each). My dad converted to Catholicism during his adult life, but I was raised a Protestant so I opted for the chaplain of that stripe. Sorry, Pop.

I’m not much for the war culture, but it was the Air Force that gave my dad a job and the GI Bill, and it was the Navy that gave him a commission and sent him to Vietnam. He earned a place in Arlington National Cemetery, and it is my duty to see that he gets there.

His cremains (yes, that’s the word for cremated remains) are now sitting on top of the piano. His Vietnam Veteran cap sits on top of the box holding the cremains. ┬áThe box is wrapped in plain brown paper. I tied a bow around the box at Christmas time (my dad was a festive guy). When I thought to remove the bow in early February, I realized that Valentine’s Day was approaching and red was still appropriate.

I would like that box to stay on top of the piano. I’d like to decorate it with a green ribbon for St. Patrick’s Day. I’d like to put the red ribbon back on for Whitsunday. But by then, the box will be far away in Arlington National Cemetery.

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My Summer With Frida

27 August, 2010

It started in Vancouver BC, when I spied stuffed Frida y Frida pillows sitting on the couch in a loft.

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What Keith Said

25 February, 2010

Not to be missed—Keith Olbermann talks about health care, the end of life (yes, it’s going to happen to me and you too), and his father.

It’s here. If only I could hand deliver the Pulitzer he deserves for this piece.

A Death and A Birth

30 December, 2008

seascape
Photo by The Scout

My condolences to the family and friends of Neil Barry. Neil was a fellow parishioner at Church of the Angels. He had a 6 year struggle with pancreatic cancer. Neil was an avid 49ers fan, and after church we’d stand on the sunny patio and talk football. He wore these sunglasses:

49erssunglasses

Still, I managed to take Neil seriously. RIP, Neil. Your 49ers just beat my father’s Redskins, 27-24.

* * * * *

Welcome to Navah, daughter of Dave (Pa Kettle) and E, and sister of Ronen.

navahandronen

I was honored to be there just after Navah made her grand entrance. My role was to keep an eye on Ronen, who is one of the world’s smartest three year-olds. Ronen said, “I’m going to draw a beautiful picture for the baby. I’m going to draw a baseball diamond!” (Sadly, he will grow up a Mets fan, but some things can’t be helped.)

Happy Birthday, Navah!

Hearing About Someone’s Death…

19 July, 2008

…via e-mail.

Frankly, it sucks. If you’ve ever learned about the death of someone you know through the so-called advanced communication known as electronic mail, you know what I mean.

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