Grief, Laughter and Healing

Greetings my dear Hypnolings,

I suppose my prolonged silence qualifies this as Rich’s Blog 3.1, but we ’ll call the past few weeks ‘research’ and give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. If the English theologian John Ray is correct and ‘The road to Hell is paved with good intentions,” that makes me a highway contractor. Need a new driveway?

The end of the past year and the beginning of the current annum were particularly difficult this year. Of course, the end of the year always means reams of paperwork justifying the Juvenile Center’s existence to the County, State, and Federal Governments. However, this year was further complicated by the death of my Mother-in-law on Christmas Day.

Aside from the spectacularly bad timing, my family and I were in Cincinnati to celebrate the holidays and wound up scrambling to catch the last open seats on any flight into Minneapolis. I’ll tell you this for free, looking for an airline seat for the day after Christmas is like panning for gold in the sewage ditch; you may find a nugget or two, but it is still going to stink to high Heaven.

Please don’t get me wrong. I loved my Mother-in-law very much, but life is for the living and life was exceptionally ‘interesting’ for a time. We did, however, survive.

The story I want to share involves the family meeting after the funeral. At the time of her death, Mom had 5 children, 30 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren; neither she nor life owed each other anything. However, it did result in the various arms of the family tree flying into the ancestral home for the ritual. It was quite a gathering.

The plan was for the family to meet, discuss, and reach consensus on those items of business that needed attending to immediately. The younger generation had different ideas…bless them. The kids showed up with a plethora of beer, wine, and take-out food and any thought of getting serious business done evaporated like the Minnesota morning mist.

We ended spending the evening and well into the late hours of the night toasting Mom and Dad and laughing our butts off as one person after another told their tale of how Mom had caught them doing something stupid and how she had patiently and lovingly explained that the idea was a “Mabey so” which is Minnesotan for “if you really intend to go through with this let me know, I want to buy a ringside ticket for the train wreck.” We all also agreed that one ignored her advice at one’s own peril.

My point is that even in what would ordinarily be a sad and somber event, we managed to find more than ample cause to celebrate a life based on love and hard work and the wonderful, loving legacy it left behind.
I can only hope I am as fondly remembered.

Happy 2019; may it be all you expect it to be.

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