A Good One

BANG! BANG! BANG BANG BANG!

On Friday night I laid in bed way up in the loft of our lake house and listened to the acorns fall from the trees, crack against the roof just a few feet above me then drop to the ground into the leaves below me. Over and over and over. So I closed my eyes and listened because for some reason it was soothing. The crickets were out, too, chirping away. And I think I felt a spider crawl across my arm. Lake house things. I wondered what my grandma was doing. It was late, and she was probably asleep.

It was the night before my grandpa’s memorial service. My mom’s side of the family was in town and scattered in different corners of the house. My parents stayed down the road in a hotel.

In the relaxed in-between of awake and sleeping—BANG! BANG!—I just wanted Saturday, the next day, to be over. I wanted someone else to walk into the church and sing the hymns and hug our loved ones and cry my tears for me. Death and loss is a hard thing to face, especially with family. Everyone’s sad and all we have are other hurt souls to mourn with.

But. Saturday was beautiful—the church, the hugs, and even the tears. As I stared at the pages of my hymnal, singing each carefully and softly, I thought about the conversation my cousin and I had on Friday morning while driving me to the airport.  

She was with her grandpa when she got the news of my grandpa.

“The last good one is gone.”

She said he mumbled it as he walked outside for fresh air. News like that gets caught in your throat—in your heart. 

I started to cry almost immediately and looked out the window at the hideous power plants that line a particularly dumpy stretch of highway from Boulder to DIA.

He was right, my grandpa was a good one—a great one.

The rest of Saturday and Sunday were spent with family at our lake house. We ordered pizza and salad and sandwiches and made pancakes and drank coffee on the deck and played with the dog. Visitors came and went and when some came, I went upstairs into my loft and read, listening to the acorns rap the roof over and over and over. 

 

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