Moment (May Be Morbid for Some Viewers)

My family keeps things. This has recently become a bit of an issue in light of the fact that Dad is slowly working towards downsizing to a condo on the Sunshine Coast.

This summer, Bo, Carol and I went bravely into the attic to decide which books to keep and which to junk. A lot of Bo’s philosophy stuff is in there, and I couldn’t have told which was valuable and which wasn’t, so I needed him there. Also, I discovered, he needed to be there in order to insist that we save all the Star Wars books he’d had since childhood. I think we managed to part with the Star Wars flip-n-fold storybook, but I think that was the only one. He has a problem. These tacky, yellowing books are completely valueless to anyone but him.

Oh, Shit. Shit. I’ve just looked over to see my collection of spines-taped-up-to-hold-in-the-pages, yellowing, Skye O’Malley romance novels. Maybe I have a problem as well.

Well, it would go with the family affliction.

There’s a certain woven Haida cedar basket in the attic that contains the ashes of our paternal grandfather. When he died, (about a decade ago) my grandmother was just edging into the beginnings of senility, and so she never really made a decision as to what to do with his remains. She had suggested burying them under a Clematis bush (he loved Clematis), but as my mom pointed out, what if the bush died? How would we feel then?

So grandpa went to the attic. I usually say Hi when I’m passing by to get a book or the makings of a Fur Trader costume for a student, but mostly, he’s not an issue.

Carol’s sitting on the bed, sorting through a pile of books. Bo comes out with Grandpa’s basket and plonks it squarely down on her lap. “This is our Grandfather.”

I look up briefly, “Carol, meet Grandpa, Grandpa, Carol.”

Then I notice her face. That expression is why the English language contains the word, ‘rictus’.

Sorry, Carol. I’d feel worse, but it was pretty funny.

2 Comments to “Moment (May Be Morbid for Some Viewers)”

  1. By Carol, October 25, 2005 @ 11:08 am


    Okay, so it’s much funnier in retrospect. Now that I’ve gotten over the trauma.

    Also, ‘rictus’ is a seriously cool word.

  2. By Liz, October 25, 2005 @ 12:44 pm

    I know, I love ‘rictus’. Um, sorry again about the whole thing, btw.

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