Monday, 2 May 2016

Futile


Wanting Dad back is as futile as wanting to climb a ladder to photograph the earth. It isn’t going to happen, is it? What am I going to lean it up against?

When I moved back home I had no idea how I’d struggle to keep up with a couple of septuagenarians. Why didn’t they go to bed earlier like normal old people? Why did my socks disappear and then suddenly turn back up again a few months later? And why didn’t I foresee conversations with Dad about what to do straight after his imminent death?

Being a minister, he dealt with the sick and the dying on a regular basis, and with experience came knowledge. Even as he weakened throughout last year’s bleak midsummer he was thoughtful and practical. Unnervingly so at times. “You’ll need to get several Death Certificates,” he imparted his wisdom to me, “they won’t take copies, you know”

Uncomfortable though it was, we made a few finishing touches to a life that once was.

At the Office of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, my siblings and I used the information we’d gleaned, falling over ourselves to outbid one another for more and more Death Certificates. We eventually came away with ten. And when the body that Dad had lugged around with him for 78 years was finally laid to rest, we were prepared for anything . . .

Most of our returning correspondence from the bigger wheels of finance and government said something to the effect of, “Thank you for sending us the death certificate which we are now returning to you with our letter.”

Needless to say we still have ten even now. Just goes to show, the more you learn the less you know.

Trying to sell Death Certificates, even with Correction Fluid, is as futile as wanting to climb a ladder to photograph the earth. It isn’t going to happen, is it? What am I going to lean it up against?