why untitled, unwritten?

I once labeled everything before it was written, until I found it kept too many words away. Now I am leaving the unwritten untitled, until it grows into a name.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Papa, Part 2: Grinning

My Papa had this smile when he said something funny--his eyes would narrow, he'd tilt his head back just the slightest bit, and grin: mouth open, teeth apart, a sound away from a chuckle.  We didn't always get his jokes and so we usually relied on that full-face grin to know when he made a joke.  Even if the joke wasn't funny,  his expression was enough to make us laugh.

A lot of his jokes were mildly inappropriate (as in, kids wouldn't catch it), only slightly related to the conversation at hand, and quite frequently political.  Oma would usually shake her head at him (and roll her eyes, though I don't know if she realized it) and say (smiling but trying to look stern) "Frank!" in a chiding voice.  We'd all share a look and a laugh while he chuckled to himself.

And if you told a joke, and it made him laugh, his face would take on the same grin and then he'd tilt his head back further and laugh.  It was an "ahh-ha-ha-ha" kind of wheezing laugh, and I remember him slapping his knee (or the table).  He'd alway follow it with "very good, (your name--or your mother/sister/cousin/aunt's name--here), very good."

In my head, I hear his voice saying those words as I write and remember them.

We laid him to rest on Saturday.  We surrounded Oma with all of our love for her and him and each other and sobbed when the bagpipes played and laughed when scattering the ashes proved more difficult than we'd planned--as most of his plans always turned out to be.  Still, we managed--he'd surely say very good, everyone, very good.

And it was beautiful and fitting.

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