Monday, September 11, 2006

9.11.06, Writing Your Own Eulogy

Franky Scale today rides in about a 6. I've been warring with my GI functions, one of those too-much-information pieces of news that highlights how real this whole fucking mess is. So TMI, so be it. It's what I live with here.

I've been working desultorily on my memoir, and though I haven't sat to plan out this blog, it's what I want to talk about. I recall things. Stories come to mind. Long lost feelings and events I thought were lost. Little stories of my own and others making that I work with, I have all this to try and roll into a ball. My question to the universe. Or rather, it's all shaping up into the grand narrative of my life. To think, I'm involved with a diachronic tale of life about someone, myself, who other critics at least might throw into the postmodern box and throw away the key. A grand narrative to explain it all.

Or, I'm writing my own eulogy. That's also how I see it. I've been given all the time in the world (there's a bad pun for you!) and as many pages as I can crank out. My audience is forced to sit there and hear it, or so I imagine. I've been reading some pieces of narrative I've gathered along the way. There is the classic letter of excommunication from the Mormon church, the recent letter of rejection from my father, there are emails and comments from friends and family. I have boxes with letters and adolescent memories. I have a story of my birth that was recently sent to me by my birth mother. That was is unique.

It's not the content or the story itself, it's more the fact of it, of looking at it and reading through this simply told tale and thinking "Is this what happens when you die? You collect the stories you and others have and then try to piece them all together? You try to dovetail it all into some sense?" Nah. I don't care much if it makes sense. The birth story itself is actually just one puzzle piece that holds just as much weight as the stories of my birth with which I was raised, despite the difference in perspective and even in factual content.

So that's how the memoir opens for now. I was born into conflict, conflicting stories of where I came from, who I am, how mundane or miraculous was my birth. You choose. One version is highly religious, spiritual, even mythical in its proportions; the other is straightforward and matter-of-fact. I don't mind this conflict, in fact, I relish it. It's as if I were given a trope from which to begin the grand narrative, a device by which I start to tell this long story that takes themes of conflict and paradox and (cosmic) irony and expands them out from a basic difference in "take" on how I came to be. Or how I almost didn't come to be. It's just about right. Remember, there are no counterfactuals.

1 comment:

Slarry said...

Monday September 11, 2006

ONE SISTER’S PERSPECTIVE: a few fleeting thoughts. You sure did "come to be."

On Writing Your Own Eulogy:

Each and every morning when I get out of bed to begin my day
the first thing that enters my mind and heart is my brother and his impending
death and how now, more than ever, he writes about his thoughts about death and dying.
The thought doesn’t really have to enter my mind--- it is all I’ve been thinking of
each and every restless night. Sometimes half awake, and at times, with my head
lying on the dining room table by my computer. Either because I had just read, or reread his blog or one of the books he has given to me or suggested that I read. They are all right in front of me, beside me. Given the numbness in my legs
and arms, the creek in my neck, I can tell I have been sitting there for hours.

I open my eyes--- my computer screen is on screen saver mode and I am
once again looking into the eyes of my brother. All of my pictures on my screen
saver are now, only of him. Slowly, gently,they zoom in and then dissolve into another chapter of his life. Scott as a baby. The look Scott gave, captured on film, right before he hit a Home Run, bases loaded, in Little league.

That same determined look has never left him. He just continues to use it in other creative
and beautiful ways. Always a determined boy / man-- driven to excel.
So many pictures flashing before me. Dissolving from a toddler, to sitting with Daisy at his first graduation, his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Utah. Both of them beaming, as he “flips me the bird “ on top of his nose, his way of letting me know I’ve taken enough pictures. And then to pictures of Frank, of the franky scale, with he and Scott in the blazing Sun, with tool belts on, bandannas covering their heads with beads of sweat, while building the addition to Steph’s and my first home. All captured on film. The feelings so easy to recall. The memories branded in my heart, in my mind forever. I could go on and on .....

I get up from the table, thinking to myself, “I have got to go to bed .... “
my legs are reddish purple, swollen, just like they were in the Hospital.
“I have to go to work in 3 hours ... I can’t look like a zombie. Dr. Norris
and Dr. Melfi would be so mad at me if they only knew. But then, they would understand.
Because it’s is Scott we are talking about. They know and have heard more
about my brother then I have shared with them about myself. More than most, it is these two women who have kept me grounded, alive and strong enough ( in a weak way )
to try and be present and live in the now for my brother. To quit thinking of how his death will effect me, but more importantly, how it is effecting him. There are others, too, who help
support and comfort me--- they know who they are. Yet the constancy, the consistency offered by these two women astounds and overwhelms me. I can’t lean on Steph for this one. She is as sad and devastated as I am. She loves the Scott. He is her brother and
friend also.

And so dear brother, as you prepare to write your own Eulogy, please know that their will be countless others, standing, waiting in line, for their turn to tell and share their stories of you. Extolling your virtues, recalling fond memories. But above all else-- how much we (they) love you. What we learn from you, the gifts of your beautiful mind. The tenderness
of the relationship between you and Mom. The poems you’ve written, the words you have spoken, your ever yearning for learning and of life.

You were robbed. Your cancer robs us from you. And don’t think for a minute that anything
you have done, all that you teach and have taught us is minimized by the possibility of your premature departure.. You have done more
in your 38 years, then most people accomplish in an 80 year lifetime.
Your light, your beautiful mind, will never die or dim. It will shine on forever.
Your words, your poems and theories will go on and be known and change people for the better, FOREVER.

I thank your birth mother for the gift of you in my life. And I will take either version; the real story or the Herculean version. Just as long as you ended up being my brother.
My greatest gift is knowing you your whole life. So, yes I weep, I grieve, I get mad and frustrated--- this is tragic. Losing you, having your life cut short, your being in pain---
is a monumental Tragedy. It is senseless and maddening.

Dear Scott-- I love and adore you so much. I depend on you for so much and in so many ways. You have taught me and blessed my life forever.

Fairy tales For My Brother

It seems wherever I go,
People come into my life and go out.
Touching me where I can feel,
Then leaving only a memory
Like the gossamer fairy tales of children easily forgotten.
And I wasn’t through knowing them.
How do I know
Whom I am seeing for the last time?
How do you halt your life
To gather and keep fairy tales from losing their magic?
So come…
Brush against the walls of my life
And stay long enough for us to know each other,
Even though you know we will have to part some time.
And we both know the longer you stay,
The more I will want you back when you have gone.
But come anyway.
For fairy tales are the happiest stories we know,
And great books are made of little chapters.

Scott, will never lose your magic. I will talk with you soon, my brother.

Thinking of and loving you often and infinitely,


This is not good-bye, Monkey Man. : )
Keep fighting, Scott.