Last night, we watched the lunar eclipse. We weren’t total lunatics. We did other stuff, too, but we did make it a point to go out every so often an see one of the beauties of nature progress through it’s cycle. It was nice. However, to have a lunar eclipse, you need to start out with a full moon. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. And what do you get with a full moon? (No, Trish, not a side of fries.) You get weirdness. Always have.
My grandfather, who was a superstitious sort, always would justify oddities and general bad behavior in others by saying, “Well, you know it’s a full moon, right?” Like that explained everything. It’s one of the superstitions my father still notes in his life. Grandpa also wouldn’t sit at a table of 13; he said that was the number of the Last Supper and things didn’t work out so great for, well, almost all of those folks. He believed if you sat at a table of 13, someone at the table would die within the year. Interesting, no? It must run in the family, as I keep a little stash of superstitions going as well: I won’t sit at a table of 13 either, but that’s just to honor Grandpa’s memory, I think hats on a bed are bad luck, and I do toss a bit of spilled salt over my shoulder. Strangely, this nonsense makes me feel closer to my family.
And that brings me to my Mystery Call from yesterday. As I said, her name sounded sort of familiar, and that turns out it is because she was family, sort of.
Her grandmother married my grandfather almost thirty years ago. That made us “sort of” cousins. When grandpa died about 10 years later, that familial bond died, too, under a heavy cloud of jealousy and sadness. I’m not going to pretend I understood it at the time, and honestly, almost 20-years under the bridge later, I don’t think it much matters, but there was this call…
She tells me her grandmother passed away last month, and they have been trying to reach someone in our branch of the family for a couple of weeks. My sister and I had married and my parents had moved since any of her relatives had spoken to any of mine. So, she had a heck of a time tracking any of us down.
She tells me that her grandmother had some things of Grandpa’s, She wants me to know that she feels these items really need to come back to me and my family: the flag that draped Grandpa’s casket, his old binoculars, newspaper clippings from his time in Italy during WWII, photos, letters, and mementos of all sorts. “Can I send it to you?”
Oh, please. Oh, Please. OH, PLEASE, YES, PLEASE!!!
She told me that she always thought we were really nice people, and as I recall, my “cousins” were nice, too. We were too young to know what came between the adults in our lives, but I am so glad that this book is coming to a peaceful end. This box of memories that is coming my way is more valuable to me than an equal weight in gold. I’m all a quiver to see these things and enter them into the ledger of my life.
I’m thanking my lucky stars, and an eclipsing full moon, for the kindness of a distant member of my… family. Her actions really do dictate the term, I guess. Weird, huh? “Well, you know it’s a full moon, right?”