Sunday, August 19, 2018


My buddy Mike's mom passed away in early July, but Mike and his family decided to wait on having any sort of memorial service until mid-August, perhaps out of consideration for others (like me) whose schedules wouldn't allow them to join a wake until later. Today (Saturday the 18th), I drove down to Fredericksburg, fighting my way through a fourteen-mile-long traffic jam, to go to the wake.

I saw quite a few people I hadn't seen in years, including Dave, a friend since junior high, who also lost his mom a couple years back. I met Mike's uncle, also a David, who is apparently a pilot. Mike's sister was there, along with her husband and two lovely daughters, one of whom I taught to use chopsticks. Mike's in-laws were there in force, along with several other friends, one of whom I know fairly well, but another of whom I remembered not at all. Various other friends of the family were in attendance, including my old French teacher from high school, Madame Landgrabe, and her husband Ed, both looking spry despite being 80 and 82, respectively.

This was a cheerful wake, which I think was apropos. There was a respectful slideshow retrospective playing on the big-screen TV downstairs, but no one was sobbing while watching it. People were talking intently and intensely with each other; if Mike's mom had been there, I think she would have appreciated this celebration of life, which was also the celebration of a life. Mike's mom, who was named Ann, made many ripples during her time on this earth, and today was a testament to the number of people she affected, and the depth to which she had affected them.


Anne in Rockwall, TX said...

Both times a parent died, we grown kids got together and chose to have a memorial a month or so later. With aunts, uncles and cousins all over the country, it allowed them to plan ahead.

Both wakes were much more a celebration of their lives and a joyous occasion rather than a somber, tear-filled event.

Sure, we cried a bit, but we laughed a whole lot more.

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks for the touching insights, Annie C, and my belated condolences.