In September 2016, my extended family got together to celebrate my grandfather’s and first-cousin-once-removed’s 90th and 80th birthdays respectively. We didn’t all get together again until June 2017 with my grandmother’s passing.
As my father said after the gravesite ceremony, ‘You know, I think we had a lot more fun at the birthdays.’ But we had a lot of fun at the funeral, too, just with more crying and sobs mixed in. This was my euology at the service.
Thank you all for coming here today. It means a lot to see all of you here and know that Betty impacted your lives, as well.
I’m going to try to not go on and on or get choked up too much. My Mama had only so much patience for long-winded speakers, and she was about the least sentimental person when it came to the idea of her funeral.
Some of you probably remember her joke about going grocery shopping. ‘At my age, I don’t even buy green bananas anymore.’ And she thought it was very funny! But it was harder for me to find it funny.
Continue reading My grandmother was much more ready for her funeral than the rest of us
The other day, I convinced some of my friends to watch one of my favorite movies.
‘We’re going to watch The Prestige in honor of David Bowie. You want to join us?’
‘Did you know he was a racist and a pedophile?’ they replied.
That was an interaction that actually took place in real life, but an approximation of it has been filling my social media feed over the past few days.
Continue reading The corrective to hagiography is not reductionism
Eight prisoners and two correctional officers died in an accident near my hometown last week when their bus went off the side of an overpass, onto a moving train. It made national news, and my former coworkers did a great job all day letting people know what was going on as information came out, and putting it all into context by day’s end.
When hearing about a fatal train/prison bus collision, many people made the obvious connection, because that’s how we expect things to work, but the culprit seems to be icy conditions and very bad luck.
I can’t explain why the eight prisoner deaths seem so much more tragic than the two guards. Continue reading How often are prison guards killed transporting prisoners?