On grief
Contributor
Written by
Andye Healy
March 2010
Contributor
Written by
Andye Healy
March 2010
As my cousin Bobby's closest "blood" relative, I would have liked to have been present for his funeral yesterday in Philly. I spent the time sitting on my swing, listening, as it happened to the music I had recorded to be played at another dear Bob's funeral just a couple of months ago. Eleven o'clock came and went and I thought of the many people gathering to remember Bobby. As the afternoon wore on, I thought, they must be at Penny's now. (I referred to her as $ in our emails- because she was worth so much more…). I thought it must be over now…. (I wonder if there was Pastrami….) He had called me a couple of weeks ago, after having broken the bad news, in response to my frantic replies - just to hear your voice, and so you can hear mine, so you can know I'm alright… Family was so important to Bob. I was the last link to his childhood self - to my mother, his Aunt Stell, who always liked him best, and to his mother, my Aunt Rose, who probably was nicer to me than she was to him, but who loved him wildly, her wonderful son who probably treated her better than she deserved, and his dad, my Uncle Jack, who still managed to dance and swim as he lost one limb after another… And to our Grandma Tuba (Tillie) whose fractured use of the English language we laughed about one more time in that last phone call. They all lived together in a big house in Strawberry Mansion, PA. - my aunt and uncles and grandparents, my mom, a young widow, and little Bobby, who everyone doted on. No wonder my mother always liked him best. It was Love in its simplest form. My uncles Jack and Joe wanted to start a business back then - and Stellie, (my mother) who worked in an office and was widowed, and may have had some extra money from her brief marriage to her childhood sweetheart, who died of kidney failure, used that money to set them up in a drug store at the corner of Pratt and Lambert. They were close, that family. But today I swung alone. And Bobby was sent off to join all those other dear departeds. I'm sure there were tons of people there who knew his worth and loved him. And I would really have liked to have been there for him, too.

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