It’s been … a conflicted time, lately. My father, whom I broke off contact with many years ago, died, and for some reason arranged to be buried up here although his home was in Alabama. I have to say, quickly, that I am not grieving. Each of our family members’ experiences with this father were all a little different, and mine contained not one single good memory. However, a good thing that happened was that my brother (and his oldest son) traveled north for the funeral. He’s had a hard life, health-wise, but he seemed better than he was even years ago. My nephew, whom I’ve seen very little in his life, I would call adorable if he weren’t 40. So sweet and friendly.
I didn’t attend the funeral but went to my sister’s house where most of the siblings gathered. This was my risk of Covid for the season, since both my brother, and one sister, are conservatives and follow the hard right’s talking points on masks and pandemic; they do not take much care. (I’m just glad for their sake two sisters now have gotten full vaccines now since they’re health care providers.) I gave my brother a circular spark-plug gapper that used to be my younger brother’s (who’s gone now) and since I’d put it on a silver chain, he immediately put it on. Those things are actually kind of pretty when they’re shiny and little-used.
So it was wonderful seeing half a dozen of us together at once. My youngest sister across the country wasn’t here but she too has been in touch much more often lately. When it comes to families there is one thing mine actually can do right; despite our goofiness and antisocial ways, my brothers and sisters and I are perfectly clear that we love each other more than even political differences can mess up. Finally, something good to realize after last year.
(To break this sentimentalism: maybe soon I'll describe how I am resolved to be buried in this same cemetery as my brother and become a ghostly guard for my brother to ward off my father's rotten spirit...)