Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Our Song

The Memorial Service for Michael was on Sunday, 21 October. It was meaningful and actually fun for those present. There were lots of laughs and many genial folks.

I made three 24x24 photo collages, which I had mounted on foam board and laminated. I stood them on a table at the front of the auditorium. I'd compiled an hour of music, which we played before and after the service. Several people came up and talked, and many others talked when they passed the microphone around.

Here's the talk that I gave:

Our song

I was thinking this morning about what sort of song Michael and I would have, if one were to be written about us.

Our song would have to have an easy jaunty rhythm, like Don Williams or Bob Wills. And, for Michael and me, the remedial students in the dance class, it would have to be easy to dance to.

The song would be named, "It's us." That was our rationale for every eccentric thing that we did. We'd be heading down the highway going west, and decide that we really wanted to go east. We would stop and throw out our arms and say, "Hey, it's US!" and we'd go where we wanted to go.

One verse would tell about Michael calling me at lunchtime. Sometimes I wouldn't get his call and he would say to the answering machine, "You're probably vacuuming and so you didn't hear the phone." That always made both of us laugh.

There would be a verse about Wendy's, Subway, Burger King, barbeque, and Big Macs. Ice cream. Handel's, Ritters, and DQ. We usually decided on our way there, and we often changed our minds a couple of times. It's US!

One verse would be about our daily walks. Clear Creek Trail, the IU campus, the White River Canal Walk, Udall Park, or a hundred other places. We went for over 5 years, walking every single day. Sometimes we held hands. Always it was just us.

And a verse would tell about visiting far-flung family in Morton, Greencastle, Indianapolis, Huntington Beach, Louisville, Madison, Burns, Mooresville, Waseca, Ann Arbor, or Miami. And no matter how much fun we'd had, we were always happy to be back in our little car -- back to just us.

One part would describe Zoobilation, the annual formal feast benefiting the Indianapolis Zoo. Once we discovered this event, we never missed it. We always got dressed in the car in the zoo parking lot. And then, when we had had enough, we went back to the car and put our jeans back on. It's US!

The chorus of our song would be about RV travel, about crystal clear blue skies, yellow leaves, and a hawk on a fencepost. There would be hills and plains, lakes, oceans, and rock-filled streams. Saguaro cactus as tall as your house, bluebonnets, and aspens. Cotton fields and soybeans, oil wells and lava fields.

And somewhere in the song, would be the line, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Hey, Michael, it's US!