Some of you might have followed this blog long enough to remember my solo RV trip back to Texas to visit my cousins. Here’s where you can read about this wonderful part of the country.
I’m sorry to report that this cousin died last week. He was air-lifted from his small town ER to a big medical center about 3 hours away from his home. Within 24 hours I was getting phone calls and emails from people I met 5 years ago letting me know what had happened and keeping me in the loop as events unfolded. Most of the concern was for my cousin’s wife who was alone in the ICU holding watch with “no one” to be with her.
After talking with one neighbor, one park ranger’s mother, one woman from the church and another cousin, I counted up and figured that there had been 6-8 people through the ICU already. I realized that Texas numbers are not the same as detached Californians’ numbers! 6-8 people is practically nobody in a southern family! And if you didn’t sleep overnight in the waiting room I don’t think it even counts as a visit!
Unfortunately, my cousin passed after 3 days. I was lucky enough to get to talk to him before he died and I will always be grateful for that. But if I thought the communications were regular before, the preparations for the funeral surely taxed the internet! In the course of trying to arrange for flowers to be sent, I spoke to even more people! The first flower shop I tried had a message that there had been a family emergency and they wouldn’t be doing flowers during the time I needed them. When I passed this news on to the half dozen people I was “in the loop” with back in Texas, this tidbit joined the phone chain intel grapevine.
Mr. T and I considered driving the Minnie back for the funeral but after calculating that the gas alone would cost over $2200 we decided we would wait to visit in April when the bluebonnets are promiscuously active. I hated to miss the funeral and obligatory BBQ but we would be there for the interment of the ashes in the family plot.
And that’s where the story takes on its uniquely Texas flavor. The dearly departed’s brother thought there was no reason to bother with all the costs involved with a burial, especially since it was in the family plot. “Ah, hell. Why don’t we all jes’ meet at the cemetery at midnight, bring shovels and dig our own hole? Jes’ git’er done.”
But what do you imagine the main objection was? Not at all to bringing shovels and surreptitiously digging the hole! No! It was to being in a cemetery at midnight! That was way too spooky and besides–wait for it–YOU’D NEVER GET THE PRIEST TO COME OUT THAT LATE AT NIGHT!
Rest in Peace, Cousin.