Justin: In the Feast of Being Able to. Amen.

Behind the Ears

Every few weeks Russian spammers register a user on my site and I go delete it. When I do, I peruse my members list to remind myself to whom I might be talking, other than words as intrapersonal communication, or a sort of observable internal discourse.

So there in my list is Brandon, now gone from us for over a year. I can’t yet bring myself to delete his user. I stare at it and think, how long will it be before I struggle to remember Brandon. My first loss of a grandfather was in 1992 and I still can see him clearly, though I have trouble hearing his voice any more.

I can still hear Brandon. I can picture him in the driver’s seat as I hopped in with him to go to lunch. How he’d grin and hold his arm up higher than necessary with his hand out to shake. I can evoke in my mind the whole aura of sitting slouched in the passenger seat of the Tahoe after eating lunch at George’s. Of the tenor of his voice as he spoke of his latest dilemma with his girlfriend. Then of his almost self-mocking resignation to his cluelessness for women. Of course I always agreed. Don’t we all.

I can see his name on my call ID, and hear him answering with the words, “Ok… you ready for this one?”

I can hear him laughing mockingly at awkward times when maybe he shouldn’t have, then remember how that made me laugh.

Just last week I realized I had not deleted Ray Baker’s number from my phone contacts. Such small details make us pause and consider those things which are larger than ourselves.

Today was decoration at Mt. Hope, the little country cemetery where my mom’s side of the family are buried. Most every year of my life I have gone there for the occasion, walked through the graves, placed flowers, then eaten dinner on the grounds on the concrete picnic tables on the other side of the c.1900 one-room schoolhouse / church.

It was a special day with my parents, as it always has been. This time some friends, Jordan and Susan and their two children, in Charleston covering for the pastor at Northside Baptist, drove up and joined us, sharing a tiny piece of my family history.

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