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Thursday, June 23, 2005

If you know someone personally and they become famous, you feel as if you own part of that person. If someone you know makes the eleven oíclock news, you might think you have something like bragging rights. Itís not exactly the same as reflected glory; in fact, itís much more from the heart. If youíve spent time with someone or shared a closeness with them, itís as if thereís a part of that person that belongs to you alone.

And itís somewhat the same when someone dies. You take your memories to the funeral or memorial service, and no matter how many other people are there, none of them has had exactly the same experience with the person being remembered. Everyone has the right to claim a part of the memory almost as if it were personal property.

Thatís sort of how I felt at the memorial service Mom, Suzanne and I went to today. This was a ceremony to remember someone I knew almost all my life, a woman who was one of Momís neighbors and best friends for many years, the widow of my dadís best childhood friend. Thatís a wealth of personal connection, and yet we were just a few small threads in the fabric of her life.

She had five children, and dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and countless friends. People told stories of how they knew her and what she had done for them, and they were all different, but they were all the same in the sense that everyone remembered her warmth, her smile, her tirelessness in doing for others. And her cooking — thatís another thing almost everyone mentioned.

At first, standing along the wall in the crowded cemetery chapel, I felt a little selfish about the way I was remembering her. I knew her in a different way from all of these people. And yet, thatís the point, really. Yes, she knew me. But she had room in her heart for an overflowing roomful of family and friends, and many more who couldnít make it.

18 June 2005

Tumbling clouds.

Isnít that a great way to be remembered? Doesnít that make your life one worth living, when so many people want to share the little corners of that life that they owned? It was a very moving service, and it summed up the love and affection shared by everyone who knew my friend, Blanche Jones, who died earlier this month at the age of 83.

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In his last few starts, Giants pitcher Kirk Rueter has been hit hard. I mean, heís been tattooed for a month. Today he was back on his game. The hits off him were bloopers, dribblers and squibs that fell in between outfielders or were beaten out on the infield. But it was still enough to knock him of the game in the seventh inning after giving up three runs. And then the Diamondbacks took advantage of the Giants bullpen, scoring four more times and pounding out a deceptive 7-2 win that gave the a split in the four-game series.

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