I spent most of this week in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, with the entire family on my mom's side. All 23 of us in one 9-bedroom beach house. And, amazingly enough, we all got along.
One of the things Mom did for me and my three brothers this trip was put together individual photo albums of our progress through, uh, lifehood, starting from the newborn cranky raisin pictures to the momma-loves-her-baby nursing pics to the embarrassing bathtime pics to the school pics to the endless birthday party pics to the graduation pics. You know.
There were several pieces of ephemerae as well; one of them was a card I apparently made at the tender age of 5 when our neighbor's husband passed away. I am going to say right up front that I didn't realize I was such a, well, twisted child, though it's pretty obvious my heart is totally in the right place.
The card reads, verbatim:
For a cheeful day because Mr Belz died (or I shoud say Joe) I bring you a tick-
-et to see "Tico" my action comedy packed puttet show (over)
at the end of the show, I give a nuber on 1 of my cards. If it (on next card.)
matches your number on your ticket you win a prize! In love, Rob
And then I drew a tombstone and two crying things; I think one is supposed to be a weeping willow.
Mom showed this to us on Thursday afternoon, after we'd arrived at the beach house. She says Mrs. Belz was touched by the gesture, though I'm pretty sure the card was diplomatically intercepted before it reached its intended recipient. But after I got over my initial shock and embarrassment, and I stopped laughing my damn fool head off, I said "You know, that's perfect. When I go, I'd sure think a puppet show would be a great tribute."
A little later that evening I called Beff to brag about the awesome beach house, and she gave me the news that has hit Brunchma hard. That night we discussed how fleeting life really is, and how to best enjoy it with those we have, take our joy, count our blessings. And at dinner that evening, I looked around our long table and realized I had a lot of blessings to count.
But now I'm thinking, you know, if anyone among us deserves a puppet show in tribute, it was Roup. It probably shouldn't be "Tico", now lost to the sands of time, but maybe it should be Avenue Q. Or maybe it should be something else entirely. I dunno, but goddammit.
Someone get the puppets ready. I'll be home Sunday night.