Friday, November 18, 2016

The Cubs Won a Second Time

It turns out that if you have the brilliant idea of asking someone to cancel a funeral, it will fail. Further, you should probably not ask - I know this now. I have a new found sense for these sorts of things, you know.

I met her in high school. We sat next to each other in history class. It was fortunate for me that I failed the previous year's history class, so I got to meet her. We'd pass notes back and forth. It was a most fortunate thing they were never intercepted by the teacher, as one of my hobbies was making her blush, which was a sight in itself. The teacher was an interesting fellow, perhaps a product of our very own public school system. Kinda fat and slovenly but a decent guy. He'd even admit when he didn't know a subject and teach from the book.

Time and notes went on and we became an item (the girl and I, not the teacher). I went to her house one afternoon, met the parents, and Dad drove me home. Dad was a pretty cool guy, especially to meet what looked like Cousin It, dating his daughter. I'd like to think I established my credentials early; he could perhaps provide the answer better than me. Or not. Mostly not.

One day we 'bypassed' school and wound up at her empty house. This was back in the Younger Days (remember them?), when you did whatever you were doing and had to keep one ear on the driveway, in case anyone who happened to be a parent came home. Or, as we called it, Parentus Interruptus. It wasn't Mom, who had a job with regular hours; it was Dad, who didn't. And sure enough, Dad's car pulled into the driveway. A very intelligent girl, she told me to get myself ready and get out, once he came into the house and she lured him to the basement. But wouldn't he hear me? No, he was a little hard of hearing.

So I got ready, waited for them to go downstairs, and made my escape. I have no idea how he did not hear the door, which required a bit of heft to close. And there I was, walking stealthily through the neighborhood, Cousin It with a guitar. With the off-chance that Mom would drive by and say hello. It was an adventure I know I'd tell someone cool some day. And here's that day. Kinda anti-climactic, no?

We broke up but remained the best of friends always. 

One day her head exploded. Well, not entirely, but some sort of plumbing went awry around her brain and she took an Extended Sleep for a week or so. Everybody stopped by to visit and I got to see the whole extended family. Dad lit up when he saw me.... it had been a while. Mom encouraged me to read to her and talk to her - I was game for anything. Fortunately she came around, not remember much besides a crushing headache. She did not 'hear' anyone reading to her and was not aware of them. Her boyfriend made the best head injury joke ever: when they had sex, she was going to have to wear a hockey helmet, in case she banged her head on the bedpost. She's 100% since then.

We all got older and her parents managed to have health problems. Dad had it worse and after some babysitting, spent the large percentage of time in his bed at home. Mom attended to him.

Last week my friend went over to watch what became the Cubs winning the World Series. For some reason, that was his team. I said to send my regards, as I still thought of them. She did.

A couple of short days later, Dad died.
She told me he was so happy he got to see the Cubs win.

Now all I have to do is not embarrass myself at the funeral. This could be more difficult than it appears (for me).

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