Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Wake and Bake...

When the Rock Star died the world mourned. It was a public mourning. And a private one. Because he wasn't just a rock star. He was a person. With friends and family who loved him. But because he was also the Rock Star he had adoring fans who loved him as well.

He had met the Rock Star at a wake, oddly enough. Not the normal place you would think to meet a rock star but this wake had been for the Rock Star's father, who was like a grandfather to his wife, so they met at the wake.

He had met the Rock Star's father a few months earlier. He hadn't even realized that he was the Rock Star's father at the time. He was just a friend of his wife. A close family friend. Like he said, like a grandfather actually. The Rock Star's father had been in hospice care in London. He and his wife were there on their honeymoon and she wanted to make sure they stopped in for a visit. She knew it wasn't the most romantic of things but the Rock Star's father had been too sick to make the wedding and it was important to her that they meet. That he had a chance to know her loved ones at least briefly.

He had been worth the visit. He regaled them with stories of his childhood. Of the way things used to be. Then he shared stories about his wife's childhood. Which gave him more insight in to how wonderful she was. She had always been wonderful to hear the Rock Star's father tell it. And his wife obviously adored him. As they said their goodbyes his wife and the Rock Star's father held hands and gazed in to each other's eyes for a very long time. Both of them knowing that this would probably be the last time they would see each other. He was very ill.

When he died a few months later and they made plans to go to the wake, they had just been to London and he wasn't sure how they were going to afford the trip back. But tickets arrived. First class tickets. "I knew it might be a stretch." The Rock Star had sent them. They were met at the airport by a driver who took them to a hotel they could not afford. The Rock Star again. His wife shrugged her shoulders, "Family comes when called, I would have been here anyway, but it's nice of him to make sure we could make it."

They dressed in black for the wake. But each with a purple scarf. It was the Rock Star's fathers favorite color. And she had packed something purple to wear each day of the weekend. Mourning colors should honor those being mourned was her belief.

A call came to the room announcing their ride. They arrived at The Rock Star's manor. You couldn't call it a house. Not really. It was grand. He tried not to stare open mouthed but he couldn't help it. The Rock Star greeted them at the door. "Thank you for coming. It's good to have family here." Then he turned to Eddie, "I am sorry I missed the wedding, I wish we could have met in better circumstances." He leaned in very close to the both of them and whispered, "Don't eat the brownies." His wife smiled and nodded. As the Rock Star walked away he turned to her, "I guess they are a bit special."

The wake was unlike anything he had ever seen. So many people were there. His wife spent most of her time with the Rock Star and his sisters. He spent most of his with an old photo album. The Rock Star's father had been a photographer in his day and he had told them stories of some of these photos. To see them now was incredible. He could hear his gravelly voice telling the stories about the people in them. There were shots of his wife as a child as well. Those he lingered over the longest. The Rock Star came and sat with him for a bit. "I am so sorry about the loss of your father. I only met him once, but he was so very kind to me and Karen adored him." The Rock Star patted his knee, "It meant a lot to him that you came. He was broken up that he couldn't make the wedding so to come on your honeymoon to visit a dying old codger made him feel like a king." They both teared up a bit and then pretended to get absorbed in the photos again.

"I remember when he took that one. That's at the country house. But..Karen spent the whole day picking flowers and making giant arrangements with them. Da never had the heart to tell her they were just weeds. But after she left he never let anyone pull them up again. They were her wildflowers and her meadow from that point on. They loved each other."

The wake went on and turned to more and more of a free for all party. They said their goodbyes and made plans to see the family again at the private entombment of the ashes. The Rock Star glowered at the crowd. "Most of them couldn't be bothered to come visit him when he was sick but here they are enjoying my free booze and my free food. They didn't want to be a part of him when he was living..." they hugged the Rock Star as tightly as they could.

And now the Rock Star had died. He was packing a bag when one of his daughters came in to the room. "When do we leave?"

"In the morning."

She was holding on to her phone. There were a lot of stories being written about the Rock Star as the world mourned him. She wanted to ask about one. The one about his father. "Is it true that he snorted his father's ashes?"

He stopped packing for a moment and tried to decide what to tell her. She knew about drug use. She knew about excesses. But he wasn't sure if she should know about this.

"What does the article say?"

"It says it was always a rumor, that he had said he did something special with part of the ashes but that was all he would say."

"Then we should let it be all he has to say. How about that?"

She thought about it a little bit. "I'll ask Aunt Libby."

He laughed and went back to packing.

Yes, he did something special with the ashes.

Don't eat the brownies. "...they didn't want to be a part of him when he was living. Now he gets to be a part of them."

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