There aren’t many things that I dread more than receiving the phone call that someone has died. On Friday, we lost our wonderful Aunt Molly, who was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Always quick to give you a smile and to let you know that she loved you, she’s been a fixture in my life for 49 years and it’s not easy to say goodbye. She gave us so much, starting with our amazing cousin Jackie.
We were at the gathering last night and some of us had a funny conversation about what we want to happen to us after we die. Predictably, GR has very strong feelings about this. He does not want to be buried. Instead, he wants to be in a building above ground, on the end shelf and not too high up. Why not too high up, I asked him? So when everyone comes to visit, they can see where I am and have an easier time talking to me, of course. Why he thinks anyone is going to come visit him, I’m not sure. He thought I was crazy when I told him I’d like to be cremated. It’ll be like you never existed, he said. How will anyone ever know you were alive? Well, I replied, at a certain point, everyone who ever knew you will be gone too. After that, do you think strangers are going to come visit you in your burial shelf? It’s not like you’re Jim Morrison or Nick Drake!
My own beliefs are that dead is dead. I don’t believe that there is anything else, not that I won’t be pleasantly surprised if I’m wrong. What record will there be of me when I’m gone though, GR asked. Well, it just so happens that for the past couple months, I’ve been doing something about that. Congratulations, you’re reading it now! My kids don’t read this blog now but maybe some day, when I’m gone, they’ll stop by here and it will put a smile on their faces.
Memory is a funny thing. Ask me what I was doing last Wednesday night and I would not be able to answer you. Ask me where I was when I got a certain record or for details about a concert I saw thirty years ago and I can tell you more than you’ll ever really want to hear about it. I have a very clear memory of being in the Irondequoit Plaza Sibleys, looking at the records, of course. I know it was the early seventies because the records were still upstairs. They moved the record section downstairs and in the back of the store a few years later. Aunt Molly walked up to me and told me to pick one out. Not many things made me happier, as a kid, than getting a new record. Here is the 45 I picked out: