new york city kid in arkansas
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A few days before my Uncle Ronnie had the accident that led to his death, I heard this Eels song that I’ve listened to a hundred times before. The song begins this way:

“You’re dead but the world keeps spinning
Take a spin through the world you left
It’s getting dark a little too early
Are you missing the dearly bereft?
Taking flight and you could be
Here tomorrow
Taking flight, well, you could get
Here tonight.”

Having no idea that we were about to experience the world spinning without Ronnie in it, the lyrics that stood out to me were “taking flight, you could get here tonight.” I wondered who I would be most happy to receive a surprise visit from like that, and wouldn’t you know it? Uncle Ronnie and Aunt Dottie were at the top of the list.

Our world somehow keeps spinning. In the midst of grief, I did a play of monologues with talented, passionate women that raised a lot of money for Magdalene Serenity House (Love Heals).  I helped organize a festive event of music and art at the school where we work, and Huck made first chair viola at All Region Orchestra. I watched my home state elect a woman Democrat for Governor, proving the existence of miracles, and we spent a few glorious days at the Lake of the Ozarks with my sister and her family, proving the existence of gratitude. And of course Troy and I took flight and joined family and friends in Virginia a few weeks ago, taking a spin through the rich world our uncle left behind. We joined loved ones from New Jersey, Florida, California, Washington, New York and Kansas, all of us with that heart-clench feeling that Ronnie would have loved to have been there.

At his memorial service, son in-law Elliott said that Ron had given him a profound burden of gratitude. He quoted his friend: “Blessings come at us so relentlessly, we are forever in a deficit position. We never get all of the thank-yous or goodbyes properly said, which leaves us, each one, living with a burden of gratitude.”

May we all be so lucky.


Thanksgiving 2005 & 2018

(Photo Credit Russell Sharman, who with Cheryl attended this All Region Orchestra concert since we were far away.)

3 comments

Pappy T

November 27th, 2018

Amen.

Shauntsies

November 28th, 2018

Beautiful people, and such beautiful words.

Aunt Jeni

November 30th, 2018

So thankful. XOXO

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