Monday, August 25, 2008


Soon after we arrived at Grandaddy’s house for the bountiful lunch provided by the church ladies yesterday, the children learned from Elsie, his wife of 19 years or so, that there were newborn kittens somewhere around.

Walker and Becket and John immediately set out on a search, and eventually found them in the bed of Grandaddy’s old pick up truck, which thankfully hadn’t been moved during the past couple of weeks. Soon Becket had given five of the six kittens a name, and then she let John name one. He named his “Gray Ham and Cheese” for his friend, Graham. Becket has laid claim to one named “Cookie”. I don’t know whether her daddy will allow a house cat, but he told me this morning that he was afraid Becket would hop a bus to go back to Cherokee to claim it even without his agreement. I suspect Cookie, and maybe Gray Ham and Cheese will find a home in Memphis in a few weeks.

Today John the Dad, who never misses anything, also tipped me off to a touching moment that I missed yesterday.

Ever since Walker was a Boy Scout, many years ago, he has had an undying patriotic streak. This was fueled by all the patriotic fervor surrounding September 11. He loves Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American” and wore a button saying the same for many years until it broke. You’ll notice that he is often seen with a salute in pictures, which is somehow less annoying than the bunny ears he did when he was younger. The Fourth of July is by far his favorite holiday.

Yesterday, when the guys folded up the flag draped on Grandaddy’s coffin, we all teared up a bit when they handed it to my husband. Walker gave it his most serious salute.

I’m sure the girls will want to claim some things from Grandaddy’s house. There are the Bill Ding Clowns and an old orange truck that several generations have pulled out of the cupboard at every visit, and a few antiques. What Walker wants, though, is that flag. I think Grandaddy might want him to have it.

I hope we all find some spot of joy in all the sadness. There will always be baby kittens and treasured possessions and, best of all, our friends and family to ease the pain.


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