Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Private Fear Going Public

I'm in a blue funk today.  Our friend lost his long battle with cancer, and my own mortality has annoyingly come to sit on my nose.

Death leaves a gaping hole in a small town like ours.  We live in our own homes, but we walk and drive the same streets, we wave at each other, visit at the corner post office, and spend our lives in a family sort of way. Not only that, but his parents' farm was next to our farm when we were growing up.

What can a person do to show we care?  Well, I've got two loaves of cranberry-orange bread in the oven as my fingers type this.  Food seems to be the first thought for a tangible showing of sympathy.

Tomorrow night is the customary wake at the funeral home.  I'm going to take a risk here and confess a fear that stems from when I was a little girl.  Mom and Dad made me go to a wake... that was held in the parlor.....of an old spooky farm house... to look at the dead body... of a scary old woman... who always dressed in black like a nun.  They never knew how that one night terrified me and scarred me for life.

As an adult, I've naturally lived through losses of loved ones, and I've secretly struggled my way through every single wake.  There were times I'd have rather had my fingernails pulled out than tolerate them.

Oops, the timer just dinged, so the breads are done.  Thank heaven for timers, or I'd have burned the house down long ago.  My mind flits, and I forget that somethin's in the oven.  Man, that reminds me of my dear mother.  She was notorious for burning our carrots.  It wasn't like it happened once in awhile, but probably 80% of the time.  Omigod, it was so funny the time she forgot about the roaster of caramel corn she put in the oven.  I kid you not, our house smelled from burnt popcorn for months.  Ahhh, the silly memories we have of when things went wrong!

There's so much Catholic ingrained in me, now I feel like a priest should be giving me absolution and penance for confessing my wake phobia.  Maybe I should have kept it to myself.