Thursday, February 21, 2008

Family Treasures

Sari's post today about her grandma (who passed away in December) really made me think. She wrote about how she carries her grandma's library card in her wallet, because it is a symbol of something her grandma loved and found important.

I wonder, if I should die (God forbid before the age of 100), what my family members or closest friends would take comfort in having. My library card is kind of boring; it has no photo in it like Sari's grandma's, and my driver's license photo is pretty ugly. The computer keyboard is a big part of my life, but that would be hard to lug around...maybe the mouse? An empty Diet Coke can? Honestly, I'm just not that materialistic; I don't have a lot of "things," Maybe a specific photo? I don't have any cool jewelry, except maybe my wedding ring. Note to Family: Please have them take that off right away if I die; I'd hate like hell to have anyone go through what we had to when Grandpa Bob died and we forgot the about the ring...

Our son, Kyle, was close to his Grandpa (Mr4444's dad). They spent a lot of time hanging out in the woodshop in the basement, "building stuff." Grandpa "helped" build every Boy Scout Pinewood Derby car and regatta boat Kyle competed with. One night, with Kyle in his lap in the den, Grandpa pointed to his blue sapphire ring and said, "Some day, Kid, when I kick the bucket, this baby's yours." He said this on more than one occasion, so when we remembered it on the way home to Wisconsin from his Michigan funeral, we freaked. Grandma gave her blessing, and I called the Funeral Home.

Me: We were wondering about Grandpa's ring. He promised it to my son when he was alive, and we'd like to have it, but we forgot to ask you for it when we were there.

Funeral Guy (an old man who looked near death himself): Oh, we don't have that. It's with him.

Me: Wow. That's really awful. He really wanted Kyle to have it, and it would mean a lot to our son to have that momento from his Grandpa. Is there any way to still get it (given that he's not yet buried)?

FG: That's not possible. Normally, the family asks for these things in advance. [WHAT?! The man died of a massive heart attack at the age of 65, for crying out loud! We didn't exactly inventory his jewelry on a regular basis.]

Me (with more than a little attitude and some hysteria in my voice): Well excuse me for not knowing to ask. You see, unlike you, we do not bury people every day, so we didn't think to ask. One would think that given your experience, it would occur to you to ask us.

FG: Well, we were pretty busy...finding all of the Jack Daniels bottles people put inside the casket. [WTF? What business was it of his to judge the intent of Grandpa's hunting camp buddies?]

Me: I realize it's inconvenient and problematic, but we would like you to please do everything you can to retrieve the ring, thank you.

FG: I'll see what I can do.

Without getting into details (we didn't ask), I'll tell you the ring was collected and is now in a safe place. I know Grandpa is happy about it, too (either that, or he's giving us "the finger" from the Hereafter!)

I guess it would be good to write a will or something. Let me know if there's anything you want...


  1. Wow...sounds like that funeral guy was just a bit insensitive. I agree... he should have asked you.

  2. I'm putting in my order now.
    If you die before I do.. I want that poster of you with your legs!
    You know the one...

  3. Kandee, yes, I know the one. It's on the wall in Mr4444's home office; you might have to fight him for it! :)

    Thanks for always making me laugh...

  4. OH MY GOSH, I would have been hysterical also! Grandpa sounds like a great guy - your son will have the memories forever of all their times building.

    I'm so glad you got the ring back!

    (the funeral guy is lucky - I probably would have arrived to pick up the ring and beaned him on the head with one of the bottles!) :-)

  5. oh my...that was a close call.
    good thing you got it...

  6. i'm glad you got the ring. i wonder if there's a mortuary association you could write to about it. that man was an insensitive ass!

    i've read your archives and i have to say you have style. :) the best was one that i had to read to my hubby (he insisted because i was near tears from laughing) the booger entry.

    you're definitely going to be one of my regular reads :) thanks for sharing your humour and writing talent.

  7. Well, as your older wiser sis, I can concur that the guy was a jerk! Twenty-seven years ago, when my hubby died suddenly, one of the first things they asked after the funeral was regarding his ring! I have saved it to this day for Steph someday...if she wants it. Of course she will... Or, she can give it to one of his sons, her half brothers. Someone will definately want it!
    Now, this reminds me of when my ex hubby's dad (Yeh, that's right, I was divorced first, then widowed, but now happily married for the 3rd and final time.) died about 34 years ago. Due to heart problems he wasn't supposed to drink, but my "Outlaw" beloved ex mother in law, found beer bottles hidden in the walls of the garage, where he had been tinkering making Marten houses for the birds! Ya gotta love him. He was a great guy- even snuck malted milk balls to the dog "Little Bit" against orders from his wife. So, here's to all the grandpas who didn't listen to their wives sometimes, but always found time for their grandkids and animals! :)

  8. dykewife-Thank you so much for taking the time to read back! I often wonder if anyone reads back (I do!) and I appreciate your feedback!!

    Geri-Love your sentiments; very well-said!


Your 2 cents...