Yes, very soon this mermaid will hold her memoir about her father’s brain in her hands. She will be happy, no doubt. And you will be happy for her, too, probably. But until then, there is sadness to reckon with.
Last year at this time, my family was gathered in Naples, Florida as my father lay dying. We spent our days at his bedside, telling him that we loved him and watching him breathe ever less frequently. He didn’t look sad or scared, and every once in a while he’d open an eye to look at whomever was sitting by his side. Every time he did that, I’d say, “Hi!”
Sister Kathy and I noted that it’s strange what comes–or doesn’t come out of our mouths–when faced with death.
In the evenings, we found ourselves eating wings and drinking beer at Hooters. The infamous restaurant was across the street from the hotel, so it was convenient. The location also added some levity to the grim situation. Actually, it was absurd. And we needed a dose of the ridiculous to offset our considerable grief. Beau passed peacefully on April 2, 2012. Purposely, my publisher picked April 2, 2013 as the date Brain in a Jar will come off the presses. We do this in remembrance of him.
The end of March also marks another difficult loss. My handsome, kind, smart, funny sweet stepbrother left this Earth on March 30, 2006. I like to think that he’s always with us. Indeed, I felt his presence at Beau’s Memorial Service.
These last few days of March and first few days of April are hard for Bercaws, Fairbrothers and Marshalls. Our insides feel much like the outside: muddy, rainy, cold. But we keep going, nonetheless, because there’s a Hooters on the horizon–calling us in the direction of joy, chicken wings and family.