APRIL 14, 2011 2:05PM

Observations From the Cradle to the Grave

Rate: 3 Flag

Drove by a funeral home today. There were men in suits on the front porch and police cars waiting in the parking lot to escort the funeral procession to the graveyard.

They are doing road construction on the road I was on and the flagman was taking his sweet time on slow vs stop. I noticed a couple of girls pushing a baby in a stroller, though they both looked too young to be the mother and indeed, too young to not be in school at 12:45 on a beautiful Thursday spring afternoon. One gallant city worker quickly picked up a piece of metal sheeting when he saw the girls and baby headed toward him and placed it over the gap in the sidewalk for the threesome to cross over easily with the stroller.

Maybe she was too young to understand the gesture of chivalry, or maybe Chivalry died before she was even born, but she veered off the sidewalk and braved the bumpy grass and somewhat muddy ground instead. The breeze picked up and blew the flouncy skirt of the main pusher girl's lawn dress like bed sheets on a clothes line. Tiny white petals from the row of Pear trees rained down like an unpredictable spring snow. Some floated far off somewhere in the distance, past the old train station, now converted into a restaurant.

The flagman's voice came wafting into my open window, "Hey Niles, c'mere." Niles walked over to him and they chatted with only bits and pieces of words making it to my ears.

I wondered what today is like for the person in the coffin inside the funeral home. I wondered if they might still be lingering here. Are they sad to not be alive and enjoying this beautiful day and something so seemingly insignificant as a hearing a flagman call to his buddy for a chitchat, or watching flower petals float on a breeze?

I thought about how I would go back home, inside my house, and not notice most of the day nor it's wonderful goings on. First I will get rid of the poor caterpillar that my young daughter accidentally stepped on yesterday and placed in a leaf on the window sill to heal. She cried for the caterpillar and when she comes home from school I can tell her, it got well and crawled away. She is too young for that kind of guilt. Then I will work, and work, and work, and work and one day......... one day I'll be sorry.

I am sorry already.

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An update from a previous post: stepdad died March 29 at 12:41 PM