Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tom Here, Louise There

Tom writing at Louise’s behest, while she is in New York:

What Old Man did while wife was gone:
Watched wife go through airport doors and felt surge of vulnerability at possible loss of everything.
Weepy all the way home from airport.
Sat up until 1 or 2 AM with laptop. Worked on pictures, got sleepy and messed up the whole thing.
Woke up at 9 or 10 AM. Decided not to go to church.
Granddaughter Mira called at 1 PM, when church should be starting. “Grandpa, it’s my primary program today. Meeting starts at 2:55 PM.”
Crawled out of bed at 1:30 PM and went to son’s ward for primary program.
Muttered opening song. “Teach me to walk.” Thought, “Those are good lyrics. Who wrote them? Ah, Clara McMaster. I’ve had a crush on her since her funeral in 1997. No wonder the lyrics are good. No wonder the music is serene.”
Primary program with a million children, well organized, moved at fast clip, ran overtime a few minutes. Didn’t care. Had a nice time. Surprise, Old Man.
Home in time to leave again for memorial service for Marie Kibby Hansen at Red Butte Gardens.
Followed stream of cars past sign to Red Butte Gardens.
Followed stream of people into Natural History Museum. Hundreds, thousands of people. Up five flights of stairs and ramps. “Is this a memorial service?” Nice lady said, “Yes.”
Followed stream of people up ramps and stairs to the fifth floor. Looked at pictures of deceased. Thought, “That doesn’t look like Marie.”
Asked lady, “Whose memorial service is this?”
 “Ann Kelsey.”
“I’m at the wrong service,” I said. “They have good food here,” she said. Stumbled back down five flights of stairs, on the way took mistaken path into dinosaur room, found way back out past dinosaurs.
Found way back to car and drove next door to “Red Butte Gardens” building. Rushed in. Lady at desk said, “Are you here for a memorial service?”
“What is the name?”
“Marie Hansen.”
“Yes, that’s in the Orangerie,” she said. “You can take the elevator up if you’d like.”
Took elevator to Orangerie floor, walked into Orangerie while third speaker is talking. Looked at program to see when “The Gang,” the high school friends, will sing. It is the one thing Old Man’s wife wanted to hear about.
Program says “The Gang” was the first thing on the program. “The Gang” has sung.
Service ends. Talked to friends and to Phil, the husband, who was teary and sweet.
Talked with Louise on the phone. Nothing better than that.  


  1. Tom, your posts are just as entertaining as Louise's. Too bad about all those flights of stairs. At least you had an elevator to the right one:)

  2. I got a little teary at your description of dropping your wife off at the airport. That's real love there. I loved this.

  3. You're such a stud, Mr. Plummer!

  4. I understand the pangs of watching your spouse leave. It is scary and exciting at the same time for me because I know I won't fully breathe until he is back, but on the other hand I won't have to share the tv or eat a proper meal the whole time he is gone. Nothing is better than a bowl of Cocoa Puffs for dinner in front of a chick flick my husband would hate.
    Ignorant Question Alert: Memorial Services at the museum? I've never heard of this. Is this a Utah Mormon thing or do I just run in lower class circles? Now that I know this is possible, I want my Celebration of Life Memorial Party to be in the Museum, too! (If I can ever talk my husband into it. So far he insists I am getting the plain Jane church service, complete with a boring talk from the Bishop about the atonement/resurrection/whatever they sermon about during a dreadfully stifling funeral service that doesn't even acknowledge the person who died. I threw a hissy-fit about it, but my husband stayed strong. I even accused him of wanting the church service just so he could get free Funeral Potatoes afterwards and he did not disagree. I said "Fine. Do whatever you want for my funeral. Just know if you insist on having it at the church and it is hideously boring, I'm not going." He didn't seem to mind.) The museum! What a great thought!

    1. Actually, Heather, the Museum of Natural History was the location of the memorial service that I mistakenly found. The memorial service I needed to attend was in the next building over, in the main building for the Red Butte Gardens. You might remind your husband that you're the odds-on favorite to live the longest, so you'll be making the decisions anyway. But I feel a blog coming on. Stay tuned.

  5. Tom, I I really hope you got some of the "good food" from the first reception.

    Also you mentioning one of your dead person crushes, reminds me of my dead person crushes:

    PAUL NEWMAN. (swoon).

    Going to watch Exodus now.

  6. "Weepy all the way home from the airport." Quite possibly the sweetest thing I've heard in a long time. Love this.