A several weeks ticked by…just like that.
Over a month in fact.
They’ve been light laughter and heavy laughter weeks. A little life and a little death. A coin flips…but it all balances out in the end. I promise.
My friend, Ken’s grandmother died several weeks ago. Ken is my oldest friend that I still see on a regular basis (and having someone around that knew you in 3rd grade sometimes helps to keep certain things in perspective) and I knew his grandmother.
I could conjure up any number of memories of her, but the one that surfaces quickest, for no reason that I’m able to discern, is sitting in her living room, in the very same retirement home that my brother Nick and I had performed a magic show for the residents (where we horribly, horribly botched the Floating Mummy Trick), with Ken and her, back in high school, just as Fall was starting to deepen, the candies in the bowl on the coffee table were already taking on Halloweenish shapes, the Thriller video played in the background on a TV, and all seemed very, very right with the world…
I went to the wake and the funeral. Among other things, she was buried with a Cubs cap. Even in her final letter to her family, she still had not figured out what she had done wrong to raise so many Sox fans.
Outside it was cold and bright. The graveyard was small.
I, not having the normal schedule and responsibilities of an upstanding person my age, was in the unique position to spend the majority of three days with Ken to facilitate the grieving process. Our chosen method: nostalgic video games. Ken purchased a disc containing some 30+ old Sega games from the late 80s early 90s and we played and played.
Oh you kids with your advanced polygons, blackberry phones, and flying cars!
It’s amazing just how many memories are locked in sensory stimulus…even very specific beeps, squawks, menus, and digital music.
Games we played when those who are gone were still around.
We supplemented the games with alcohol, more friends, cookies, smoke breaks, laughs, and forming a new band on Guitar Hero: World Tour.
The next week I went to help celebrate a new life—Caitlyn Jade Glass, the daughter of my good friends, Amy and Jeramie, was getting baptized. This also gave me the opportunity to visit little Caitlyn’s older sister, my Goddaughter, Reese.
Reese was barely past infancy the last I saw of her…and now she is almost three. I had worries that she wouldn’t remember me…or what if we didn’t get along?
These doubts vanished when we shared several conspiratorial smiles throughout the mass.
I discovered Reese is very talkative. She gave me an entire symposium on here theories on the phenomenon of princessdom (“A princess just gots to!”).
In talking with Amy, I also discovered that Reese has taken to performing mischievous acts (like snatching various objects and declaring them hers) finishing off with a super-villain laugh. Not just a “ha-ha”…but a full blown, genuine super-villain-mad-scientist laugh.
I’m very proud. A lot goes into a good mad scientist laugh—cackle and pitch and cadence. Technique is everything. Such a good start and so many years ahead to help Reese perfect that maniacal laughter.
I’ve half a mind to build a Doomsday Device for her third birthday.
I also, a while back, promised Reese a children’s book—something I can’t solve by driving out to Barnes & Noble…as I promised to write it.
I finished my evening with Reese with a very competitive game of face-making. I’m no slouch. I summon up every ounce of humility when I say I’m freaking brilliant at making faces. But Reese kept right up with me. I’m impressed. Even overwhelmed.
What can I say? She had me at, “Mwahahahaha!”