Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A God Thing

     It was late (I mean real late) and I was in bed at that wonderful state where you are not quite awake but you’re not asleep either.  Then my cell phone rang.  Ever since I have had a cell phone I sleep with it on the nightstand next to the bed, tonight was no exception.  But, ever since I retired my cell phone rarely rings at night, so when it did I was startled.  I picked it up to see who was calling but without my glasses the fine print was just a blur.  I asked Char who it was.  She looked and told me it was Eric.  “Oh crap,” I replied, “this can’t be good.” 
     Eric is a good friend.  I had seen him just a couple weeks before.  Together we had gone to visit Dave, a mutual friend, who was in home hospice.  Eric had been requested to speak at Dave’s funeral when the time came.  Dave had also given Eric some specific instructions such as; “keep it short” and “don’t go over the top”.  It was going to be hard thing for Eric – it would be for anybody.
     Now if I may pause and add another literally license to further explain that not only is this a story about the loss of a near and dear friend and the gut-wrenching stress of doing a fitting eulogy for that friend in front of family, friends and co-workers. This is also a story involving the coming together at a cross roads of a chopping axe, six pack of beer and the recent demise of a fairly new dishwasher just out of warranty.  If you have gotten to this point surely your interest is perked now.
     I hit the redial button on my phone and Eric answered on the first ring.  I braced myself for some bad news about Dave. The phone call went something like this:
     Ralph:  Eric, this is Ralph. I see I missed your call.
     Eric (with a great deal of excitement):  WOW! Ralph, this might be a God thing!
     Ralph: What do you mean ‘a God thing’?
     Eric (still with excitement in his voice):  Well, I just called you and you didn’t answer and now you called me!  It’s probably a God thing!
     I would explain caller ID to him at a later date, now didn’t seem to be the time.
     Ralph:  So . . . what are you up to?
     Eric:  Ralph, I have to tell you right up front I’ve had a few beers tonight.  What I’ve been asked to do by Dave is really going to be hard. I do not really want to do it at all, but I know I have to. In fact when it comes right down to it I am just plain pissed off about all this happening to Dave.
     Ralph:  I don’t care that you’ve been drinking and yes, it is going to be hard.  I don’t think I could do it.
     Eric:  But you know what?  I just did the coolest thing I think I have ever done!
     Ralph:  What’s that?
     Eric:  We had a dishwasher in our garage that we were trying to get rid of and no one would take it – was going to cost $70 just to have someone pick it up!  So tonight I pulled it out into the center of the garage and smashed the crap out of it with my wood splitting axe!
     Ralph (laughing): You did what?
     Eric: Yeah I smashed the crap out it with my axe! You should have been here to see all the plastic and metal flying around in the air, it was amazing! It was pretty cool to watch the axe head hit the concrete floor and make all these sparks!   But the real cool thing is now I think I can get it into a 15 gallon trash can so it can be hauled away for free! 
     Char came back into the room and asked if everything was okay.  I was laughing so hard all I could do was shake my head yes.
     After Eric and I finished our conversation I laid in bed laughing for quite some time.  I had to agree with him, it was a God thing.  It had to be a miracle he didn’t cut off his foot with that axe.


Blogger Granny Annie said...

Preparing for a sad and tender story the tears began to well up in my eyes and suddenly you had me laughing so hard I spewed my morning coffee!

4:22 AM  
Blogger Adan Karr said...

I enjoyed the tender tone of seriousness in your story...

"Well, I just called you and you didn’t answer and now you called me! It’s probably a God thing!
I would explain caller ID to him at a later date, now didn’t seem to be the time."

I couldn't stop laughing at that. Nice 180!

Thank you for this.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Ralph, this was better than the 'in person' explanation of it.
Eulogies do get to the point of being funny when you begin to exclude the things you'd like to say and the things you cannot under any circumstances spit out.
So why not some 'axe' relief.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Mountain Mama said...

Interesting how we find 'therapy' in the strangest ways.

11:50 AM  

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