We all feel it, even when we’re kids and our parents try to keep us from it. Aunt Anna came a long way to see us, nurtured and loved us, the first two, me and my younger sister. Two weeks later back at her home she had a heart attack and died. My parents left us with a horrible old babysitter who yelled at us and actually her weight broke one of our chairs.

We never knew about death until friends and family died. My husband is tall and strong and is always called upon to be a pallbearer. I could not do that for a loved one, I’d cry throughout. What happened with Dad is that everything was messed up.

Rick was 17, a fellow gymnast. He was showboating in his cool car and was pulled over by several drunk off-duty cops going home from a bachelor party. They kicked his head in and killed him. Very little happened to them, a couple of days off, a pat on the back.

This was my friend. I went to see him at the funeral home and knew he’d been made up so his mother could take some solace. He was a risk-taker but would not have been my friend had he not been a good kid. I was devastated and couldn’t go to the funeral. I cried for days. He was like having Dog Town and Z Boys all together in one individual.

Men, including my brother, were called upon to wheel my father’s casket to the front of the chapel. Instead, the cemetery guys did it. I would have liked to be by my brother’s side and that of our siblings and co-siblings to roll him down that aisle. At the time we didn’t know we had that choice. We did not at the time.

So now I make my choices. I need to make my living and other wills for my husband and family. Family includes the dog, of course. I love my family. Call this planning, it’s not a sad thing, just something I have to do way, way in advance. Cheers! Dee


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