June 11, 2007
Passage of the Moment
"I've picked a place to be buried."
Where is that?
"Not far from here. On a hill, beneath a tree, overlooking a pond. Very serene. A good place to think."
Are you planning on thinking there?
"I'm planning on being dead there."
He chuckles. I chuckle.
"Will you visit?"
"Just come and talk. Make it a Tuesday. You always come on Tuesdays."
We're Tuesday people.
"Right. Tuesday people. Come to talk, then?"
He has grown so weak so fast.
"Look at me," he says.
"You'll come to my grave? To tell me your problems?"
And you'll give me answers?
"I'll give you what I can. Don't I always?"
I picture his grave, on the hill, overlooking the pond, some little nine-foot piece of earth where they will place him, cover him with dirt, put a stone on top. Maybe in a few weeks? Maybe in a few days? I see myself sitting there alone, arms across my knees, starting into space.
It won't be the same, I say, not being able to hear you talk.
"Ah, talk. . ."
He closes his eyes and smiles.
"Tell you what. After I'm dead, you talk. And I'll listen."
--Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom. I finished it a month ago but it's still kind of in my head.
This passage kind of makes me want to head to downstate Ohio where my dad is buried. (By coincidence, though, it was actually his sister who was taken down by Lou Gehrig's, the same thing that got Morrie Schwartz... I was too young to get to know her, unfortunately.)
One other point I remember from the book is Morrie expression appreciation for a kind of regression to physical infancy, and being able to enjoy the physical intimacy with his caretakers that that entailed.
I get the feeling we don't touch enough, especially here in New England.
Heh. Probably not the most cheerful bit to start the week with!