Print Story I'll Be Seeing You
Diary
By Christopher Robin was Murdered (Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 01:26:56 PM EST) (all tags)
The watch ends.


Phone call

    Sunday morning, I went to church with May.

    There's a moment during the service when the pastor begs God's mercy for folks whose names are offered from the congregation either aloud or in silence.
    I said my grandmother's name aloud.
    I remember this because I never offer anybody's name aloud. I've never felt moved to. If I've had somebody on my mind, I've always figured God always already knows.

    After church, May and I had brunch at a joint on 7th Ave. We did some shopping. Basically spend a lazy morning roaming around the neighborhood.

    Shortly after getting home, I got a call from my mother informing me that my grandmother is dead.
    She was asleep and she just quit.

    My mother said something about this being better than slowly suffering. It is the sort of thing you've heard people say before – one of those at-hand tragedy lines we all know are canned, but reach for anyways because the most important things in life cannot be discussed. There's no real way to say that my grandmother somehow avoided suffering. She wasn't given the either or choice.

    My grandmother, as an aside, hated the idea of being dead. Too much fuss over the corpse. Funerals offended her common sense. All this ceremony and waste for a dead person. She especially disliked what she viewed as the needless pomp of military funerals (which is ironic as she'll be buried alongside my grandfather in Arlington cemetery). Once, when I was very young, and my family was watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, I remember my grandmother saying something like, "If the Army was this careful about where they put them when they were alive . . . "

    She was also no fan of the concept of some infinite rest. The metaphor of "rest" frustrated her. A little rest perhaps, but a final and unending rest? Far too dull for her tastes.
    God better provide for travel opportunities and bowling, or He'll wish He kept her right where she was.

< 2007.02.19: Statistics is a significant pain in my ass." | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
I'll Be Seeing You | 48 comments (48 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Hey, man by sasquatchan (4.00 / 2) #1 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 01:29:56 PM EST
sorry to hear about your loss.

If you'll detour towards southern VA, I'd buy you a beer. Hope all the arrangements, despite grams feelings, go well.


Thanks by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 02:54:36 PM EST
Though it seems like this will be a strictly NoVA deal.

[ Parent ]
Sorry for your loss, M. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #2 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 01:47:58 PM EST
That's a great Arlington anecdote, though.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Grandmother versus the Army. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 3) #22 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:14:26 AM EST
My grandmother's father was an Army man (served with Blackjack Pershing), her husband was career Army (an engineer), and all but one of her sons severed in the Army. So she knew the Army fairly well.

She always had this view that the Army was some sort vast, powerful, but ultimately quite stupid animal. She seemed to be able to divorce the idea of the soldier from the concept of the army. On an individual basis, she found most soldiers admirable enough folks. The Army, however, was a sort of emergent monster that showed up when enough soldiers gathered. This beast was useful and necessary, but could not be left to its own devices without making a terrible mess of everything.

She developed a sort of tolerance for the Army and its rituals. The pomp and ceremony are all that prevents the Army from being a mob off trained killers. They give the actions of the armed forces a special sphere of meaning where they can continue to be human despite being asked to act like robots or wolves. She understood the necessity of it all. Still, I think she never developed a liking for any of it.

She was, I should add, hugely sympathetic to soldiers. She was proud of her father, husband, and sons. She was proud to be an Army wife. She liked the company of soldiers and their spouses. She loved the people, but was a constant critic of the institution she and they were part of.

[ Parent ]
She sounds wise. by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #39 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:50:05 AM EST
You'll miss her, and I'm sorry.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
I certainly will. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #47 Wed Feb 21, 2007 at 08:15:59 AM EST
Thank you for the kind words.

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry. by toxicfur (4.00 / 4) #3 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 02:00:55 PM EST
I don't know what else to say, other than that I'm tired of people dying. Especially grandparents. My best to you and your family.
-----
inspiritation: the effect of irritating someone so much it inspires them to do something about it. --BuggEye
Thank you. n/t by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #23 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:14:52 AM EST


[ Parent ]
I agree with your grandmother. by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 3) #4 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 02:02:38 PM EST
My father wanted to be put out with the trash, and it greatly annoyed me that the funeral home talked my mom into an expensive casket.

Personally, a wood chipper and composting sounds a lot better than a vault.


--
It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

Sorry for your loss by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #5 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 02:34:48 PM EST
Your grandmother sounds like a together person.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
Thank you. n/t by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #24 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:15:25 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Grandmas rock. by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 3) #7 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 03:38:42 PM EST

It's always sad to lose one. I'd say something pithy, but I'm not pithy.


-
You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
They do indeed. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #25 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:17:59 AM EST
What else is there to say?

[ Parent ]
condolences by Kellnerin (4.00 / 2) #8 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 03:43:36 PM EST
If all there is, is rest, then I hope the monkey girl doesn't make it to Arlington.

--
"If a tree is impetuous in the woods, does it make a sound?" -- aethucyn
Thank you. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #21 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 04:54:11 AM EST
I suspect we've seen (or un-seen) the last of the monkey-faced little girl. I went looking around for some source for the monkey-faced little girl and couldn't find anything. I was wondering if maybe it was an old fairy tale or children's story. It seemed like such an odd and specific image. I never found anything.

[ Parent ]
i bid you peace. by clock (4.00 / 2) #9 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 04:38:48 PM EST
there really isn't anything to be said...but i'm very sorry.

take care of yourself.


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

Thank you. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #26 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:19:06 AM EST
We'll be fine. She wouldn't have wanted us to dwell on it too much.

[ Parent ]
you're welcom. by clock (2.00 / 0) #38 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:49:18 AM EST
i'm sure she wouldn't.  but it's ok if you do.


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry for your loss by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #10 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 04:42:37 PM EST



Thank you. n/t by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #27 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:19:35 AM EST


[ Parent ]
On the bright side by debacle (4.00 / 2) #11 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 05:24:45 PM EST
No more monkey girl.

I think your grandma will be okay.


IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

Thank goodness for that. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #28 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:20:23 AM EST
It was creeping people out.

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry by ana (4.00 / 2) #12 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 05:34:55 PM EST
to hear about your loss. Not sure what else to say, really.

Regular, or decaf abomination? --Kellnerin

Thank you for your kind feelings. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #29 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:21:14 AM EST
I appreciate them.

[ Parent ]
Hot lava by ucblockhead (4.00 / 3) #13 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 06:21:46 PM EST
Just wanted to mention because it came up in a diary that I'm too lazy to link to: yesterday I was walking with the FoML after his gym class and he was methodically jumping between black bricks. As he did this, he informed me with great seriousness that the red ones were the "hot lava".

I've never discussed that with him, so he must have gotten it through the pre-K grapevine.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

Saturday night. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #34 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:29:39 AM EST
Saw a band in Brooklyn - teen outfit that can only be described as an emo/metal band - that was named "The Floor Is Lava."

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry to hear it by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 2) #14 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 08:57:35 PM EST


Thank you. n/t by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #35 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:31:00 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Sorry mate by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #15 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 01:05:30 AM EST
Like you say, there's not much more to be said.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

Thank you. n/t by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #37 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:33:23 AM EST


[ Parent ]
You have given us a moving tribute . . . by slozo (4.00 / 2) #16 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 02:27:12 AM EST
. . . to your grandmother. In fact, you may have made me remember my own long departed grandmothers . . .

I hope you and May are doing well.

We're doing okay. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #36 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:32:43 AM EST
We're a little funeral'ed out. Enough with the tragedies and such!

Thanks for your kind words.

[ Parent ]
It's weird how it happens, when . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #40 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:54:55 AM EST
. . .a generation starts to pass away and fade to black. I had a bunch of funerals to attend in a short period of years, and that ended a few years back. Inevitably, another generation will start falling in time too. Here's hoping they stick around to enjoy the awesome experience of life for a few more with us . . .

[ Parent ]
I love your Grandma. Too bad I never met her. by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #17 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 02:57:05 AM EST
She gets a candle this week -- if that's not too pompous.

Once, when I was very young, and my family was watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, I remember my grandmother saying something like, "If the Army was this careful about where they put them when they were alive . . . "

She would have appreciated the gesture. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #33 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:27:06 AM EST
Thanks.

[ Parent ]
Sorry by Scrymarch (4.00 / 2) #18 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 03:11:22 AM EST
Just sorry.

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

Thank you. n/t by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #32 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:26:09 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Ah, damn. by blixco (4.00 / 2) #19 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 03:27:53 AM EST
Sorry to hear it.
---------------------------------
I accidentally had a conversation in italian at lunchtime. I don't speak italian. - Merekat
Damn, indeed. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #31 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:25:24 AM EST
She got a raw deal, but she handled it with as much class as an old lady could muster. Strong old gal, that one.

I think you would have thought she was pretty cool. Straight forward, funny, no non-sense. I think you would have liked her.

[ Parent ]
My condolences by MrPlough (4.00 / 2) #20 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 03:45:46 AM EST
to you and your family.
No work.
Thank you. n/t by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #30 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:21:47 AM EST


[ Parent ]
I'm very sorry to hear that. by Gedvondur (4.00 / 2) #41 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 05:58:46 AM EST
My sympathies to you and your family.

Gedvondur
"If that's not irony, I'll drink a kitten." --Fleece

Thank you. n/t by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #44 Wed Feb 21, 2007 at 08:01:18 AM EST


[ Parent ]
peace by joh3n (4.00 / 2) #42 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 06:00:46 AM EST

----
I am a crime against humanity
-theantix

And to you. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #45 Wed Feb 21, 2007 at 08:02:01 AM EST
Thanks for the kind thoughts.

[ Parent ]
She'll never be forgotten by ad hoc (4.00 / 4) #43 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 06:04:14 AM EST
with a grandson who can write like you do.
--
Hypocrisy is the resin that holds the plywood of society together
Thanks for the kind thoughts. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #46 Wed Feb 21, 2007 at 08:14:29 AM EST
As a writer, I sort of failed them. You couldn't have known, but it is a bit of a sore spot.

My grandfather repeatedly said that he was working on a memoir of his war years. He'd ask me to help out, I'd say sure, and then he'd beg off the project, claiming that he needed to spend more time with his notes. This was a nearly annual ritual until he passed away.

After his death, I've come to see that he wanted me to push him on it. He wanted me to just come in, and take the notes, and finish the project. Despite my grandfather's amazing life, he was a man of profound modesty. He couldn't have ever written about himself.

I don't know why I didn't press harder. Maybe I was lazy. Even then I couldn't believe that there wouldn't be time for this. Or, maybe, I just didn't care enough. I don't think this is true, but then I'm forced to ask myself what sort of grandson treats his grandfather's story this way?

They're cleaning out my grandfather's stuff now. I asked my parents for my grandfather's notes. Unfortunately, I'm told that they've already been promised to archives of the Army Corps of Engineers. Those, it turns out, were my grandfather's wishes. It disturbs me to think that, in those last days, he thought that I wouldn't care for them, wouldn't want them.

I doubt I'll ever see those notes.

[ Parent ]
dude. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #48 Thu Feb 22, 2007 at 04:47:15 AM EST
photocopy them first.


[ Parent ]
I'll Be Seeing You | 48 comments (48 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback