2005-09-07 - 11:29 a.m.
My stepfather died yesterday.
On the good side, he died quickly. He'd been declining, but essentially okay really up until he died, and then he died in about half an hour. My mom sounds okay.
Nora is heartbroken.
But I'm happy we were there this summer and had some time to hang around with him.
Maddy wishes he had written a book about his life, because he had so many stories.
Two stories: Once he rode his bike (one speed) from New Haven to Marion, coming home from college. In college he was known as the Magician. I guess it was part of a card trick. People would call him at all hours to guess what card they were holding, and somehow he knew. I'm not sure how -- Anyway, we asked him if he minded being woken up at 3 in the morning to guess what card someone was holding, but he said it was all part of being the Magician. He also played in a steel drum band and they played once -- these middle-aged corporate white guys from Riverside, CT -- at the Apollo theater.
Ah well -
Now I have to go look for airline tickets. They're having a service on the lunch. Although I am an atheist, I think a memorial service of some kind is a very good thing.
Actually, in this particular case I think the episcopal church is a good thing. It seems to me that while not being painfully religious they provide social services that are useful to people. Woody - the minister or whatever -- came out to see Peter a few times this summer. I think it was actually comforting to have someone whose business is those big things -- birth, death -- come to talk. I mean, you'd have to assume that this person would not be afraid to talk about stuff, so you could really talk to them.
And then it's useful to have that sort of a person come to speak at a memorial service. Certainly you can get by without that -- you could have friends, etc. But having a professional sort of takes the edge off of things. No one else has to be the one who stands up and talks.
And I think it's good to have a memorial service. I'm sorry that Kevin's dad didn't have one, but part of that was his dislike of organized religion. They could have had one anyway -- his family and friends would have come -- but someone would have had to organize it. We tried a little, but it just didn't come together. Anyway -- but it's sad that we didn't have one, because I think it's an important thing.
Anyway, I'm rambling. And now I have to go.
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