Sunday, April 23, 2006

Can I get an amen

As my father loses his eyesight, I am more and more often responsible for keeping him abreast of the local written news. Part of that is letting Daddy know who has died, as well as the dates, times, and locations of visitations and funerals. For this information, I rely upon my local newspapr's obituaries.

Daddy being Daddy, he claims to know a lot of people, so I have to read through each obituary incredibly carefully to see if the decedent's path appears to have crossed my father's at any time.

Daddy also being Daddy, he goes to any funeral to which he can only possibly claim to have a tie. Daddy thinks he once met the dead man when he visited Daddy's church as a child with a classmate back in 1932? Daddy's going to the service. Don't know the dead man, but his mother was once the neighbor of Daddy's maiden aunts? Daddy's got to pay his respects.

But it's not bad, by any means. Our obituaries are fantastic, filled with love, charm, and euphemisms. And every once in a while, I come across one that begs to be read aloud.

Mr. Monte Martin, 100 years young, of 4570 Ogburn Ave., Winston-Salem, left this side of Jordan on Wednesday, April 19, 2006, for a place not made by man.

Still others make me mourn never having had a chance to meet the decedent.

Mr. Fred Hester Pegram Sr., 83, passed away at home, the same house in which he was born on June 22, 1922, to James Henry and Bertha Slater Pegram. Mr. Pegram was a big-hearted and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and father-in-law. He enjoyed spending time with his grandkids, especially giving tractor rides and going fishing. Mr. Pegram was a very hard worker and a well-known landscaper in the community in which he never met a stranger. He loved farming, cows, and enjoyed cutting wood.

1. An expression of admiration or congratulation.
2. A formal token of appreciation and admiration for a person's high achievements.
"tribute." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. 23 Apr. 2006.