When I get too beaten down by the horrible bad news in the daily paper, I turn to the one place where I know I'll find kind, loving, sweet words--in the Obituaries. Yes, I know these people are dead, yes I know the people who wrote the obituaries are very sad, but somehow these ordinary people write some of the sweetest (and sometimes most amusing) stuff in the paper.
Today I learned that a 93-year-old Japanese American woman, who was known for crocheting and helping at church events, loved to play basketball when she was in high school. Did any of the church ladies know that? Wouldn't they have been surprised (and loved it) if they had? A lifelong pilot got his love of flying when he was nine and hopped in a bi-plane with a barnstorming pilot and his aunt (who must have been a real character). I love that story.
I often read that someone is survived by a "loving wife." If Young Geezer was to meet his demise when we were in the middle of one of our 2-day brouhahas, would I be able to write that? Or would I have to be honest and say, "...surived by his cranky wife who is still waiting to get the last word"?
Long lists of accomplishments are popular, but the words that always touch my heart are the ones that show how loved the person was. A family wrote about their homeless, alcohol-addicted son and brother and emphasized how hard he tried and how many times he succeeded. Wow. Wouldn't it be nice to think that no matter what a screw-up you think you are, someone loves you anyway and will say good things about you when you're gone? I'd like that. Hey, maybe I'll write the words myself and ask Young Geezer to be sure they make it into my obituary if I "precede him in death," as they say. (Or would he think I'm just trying to have the last word?)