Saturday, November 3, 2012

Jenny We Hardly Knew Ye

  Everyone had exchanged goodbyes just three weeks earlier.  Glasses were clinked, hugs were given all around, the chefs at the Lake Shore Yacht Club had outdone themselves with some off menu treats, and the Halls were allowed to escape the dreary expectations of an upstate autumn looming before them only on the strictest promise that they would return with the tulips and all would be cocktails and laughter again.  Little did anyone realize it would be the last time they would see Jenny Wysocki hold court over a table again.
   Mr. Iltsch let Mr. Hall sleep in an hour or so Wednesday morning.  It was almost 8:00 am before the phone started ringing off the hook at the Hall, and poor Killer, dodging anxious steps, realized this was not going to be just another day of unpacking.  "Are we going back?" asked Mrs. Hall gingerly- she had been finalizing the grocery list for the following week.  "No." answered Mr. H. slowly but firmly. "This is Stevie's show now.  I'd only be a distraction."  She nodded in agreement.  Still, thought Mrs.Hall, she would have liked to have said one more goodbye.  Mr. Hall scrolled through the index on his phone and mentally ticked off all the chores he would be attending to right now.  If he were still there.

  Father Gleba- gone.  Father Matula, gravely ill when he relocated to Poland to be with his family- gone. Father Dudkiewicz, removed after an unfortunate display of misplaced frustration with old age and a rapidly changing society around him- removed to a nursing home and gone for all intents and purposes.  All in the course of a year and a half.  And now Jenny Wysocki, matriarch and keeper of the proud columned funeral home that had stood as a shrine to her deceased husband, across the street from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and it's dwindling Polish neighborhood- gone.
The plastic pink roses still bloom in the lobby.  The classical statues still stand mute at attention and gaze lovingly towards the deceased.  The liquid gold curtains in the small chapel rustle softly in the air conditioning and the sad stained glass faces of those familiar characters from the Last Supper still look on as people queue past a casket and pass into the night.

 Wysocki's Funeral Home still stands and serves, but the hands that tended it so lovingly for so long are finally at rest.

No comments:

Tell your friends!