A Raccoon Story

With the news of a loved one passing away, family members and friends always share memories. The stories help celebrate the life of the person who has left us. After 47 years of marriage, my aunt laid the love her life, my uncle to rest. The stories of his life came from a variety of sources, family, friends, and co-workers. Laughing at the funny stories, the grief of his passing left for an instant.

My uncle was a U.S. Army veteran who received the Purple Heart. And, yes, the playing of Taps at the funeral left no one with a dry eye. I believed my uncle to be a simple man. He worked all of his life in a small factory to support his family. He enjoyed fishing, collecting golf balls (50,000) and vintage record players.

Now, what does his passing have to do with a raccoon? Well, my uncle would sit down on the river flats. While spending hours fishing, he would feed the raccoons. According to the stories, the little pesky creatures would come right up to him and take the food from his hands.

Now, I know logically the raccoon that visited me has no connection with my uncle’s passing. Where I live raccoons are a common sighting, they have been in my bird feeders and frequently play on my porch. (Generally in the middle of the night when I am trying to sleep, I convinced they are having a gathering right under my bedroom window).

The night before my uncle’s funeral, I went to let one my cats in the front door. I was not paying attention which is often my own undoing. My old Siamese cat moves at a slower pace. I got a glimpse of a second animal trailing behind him. Assuming the animal was another one of my cats I held the door open. At that moment, my little dog let out a growl. Glancing back down, the second animal about to enter my door way was a raccoon. Of course, I quickly shut the door. I can just imagine the chaos the little raccoon would create upon entering my house.

Staring up at me, the little raccoon just sat in front of the closed door. Locating some old bread, I threw out the pieces to him (or her I really don’t have the knowledge to tell). I am not brave enough to get closer to the raccoon. The pesky little raccoon may look cute, however; the animal is still a wild creature. Anyways, the entire incident made me think of my uncle.

Now, I have shared my story.

Until next time….peace….

30 Days of Thanks-Day 12-Stories

Yesterday, November 12, 2015 I had an article that took more research than I had originally planned. So my personal blogging was set aside. Not that I wasn’t thankful for the day’s events; I just had deadlines

Day 12

I am thankful for “stories”. The kind of stories, you can hear by chance. I run errands and play taxi driver for numerous older family members and friends of the family. Sometimes I find myself waiting for hours at various doctor offices or other appointments. During this time, I meet all types of people who share stories about their lives. At one point, I was told I was good at listening without judgement. I mean honestly who I to judge another person’s life story am.

Obviously, I will not use their real names out of respect. But I thought I would share a couple stories with you.

Miss G

Miss G. is elderly woman of African American decent who is wheel chair bound. When I first met her I was waiting at a doctor’s office. She told me I had a beautiful smile and a kind face. I immediately blushed. I am certain the color of my face matched my hair. She was taking into a examination room.

After some time, she returned. Of course, I was still waiting for a family friend to emerge out of her appointment. After introducing herself, she began to tell me how she was all alone in the world. Her son was killed in the war (I am not sure which one). Her daughter had been in trouble with the law. In fact the daughter’s boyfriend had been in prison for over 20 years. During that entire time, her daughter lived with her. “It was the happiest time of my life, a daughter is a blessing.” When he got out of prison, he married her daughter and took her away. She told the situation was sad. I did not ask for details. She continued to tell me little things about her time spent with her daughter. But now she was all alone in the company of strangers.

Mr. X

He never told me his name. He sat across from me as I waited at another appointment. He just shared a piece of his story. “I was diagnosed with cancer, 6 months ago.” he began. “They told me, I had 3 months to live. But I am still here.” At this point, he actually chuckled very loudly. “Guess they didn’t get that right.” He went on tell me how he refused treatment that he would take each day at time.

Mrs. T

I use to work at a grocery store. There was an elderly lady who would come in every week. She would buy a fifth of vodka and box of raisins. Of course, I had to ask what she did with them. She smiled at me; I still remember her devious grin like she was unveiling the biggest secret. “Well, my dear” She began softly as if to share the information only with me. “You take a handful of raisins each night and soak them in vodka. The next night, eat those raisins as a snack. They make you feel better.” The story still makes me smile.

I guess this one of the reasons why I like old photographs. I want to know their stories too.