At my grandfathers wake in Mississippi the bereaved spoke in muffled tones.
Some dwelled on the fact he foiled a few family members’ extra curricular relationships.
Grandpa just didn’t cotton to that type of behavior.
The family patriarch was a good man and no one could deny that.
In the south it was customary for a family member to stay with the remains overnight.
I was chosen since my grandfather vested a great deal of his precious time to raise me.
I spent my younger days next to grandpa totally absorbed by his stories and wisdom.
Time flew by but my moving north and starting school changed everything.
I rarely saw grandpa thereafter, except in my heart.
This time would be good for us, alone and together once again.
Around 3am, I was sitting on the edge of my chair intently focused on grandpa.
Suddenly, I noticed movement in the silk draped over his open casket.
This gave me great pause and concern.
Was he really dead or was he breathing and trying to speak to me?
Slipping ever so quietly to the casket, I stared at his face covered by the veil.
Unexpectedly, a mouse bolted from under his pillow and out the backside of the casket.
I was mortified!
A mouse was invoking ashes to ashes, dust to dust on grandpa’s remains.
When the first shovel of dirt hit his casket, there wasn’t any mouse along for the ride.
I can personally guarantee that.
Draped, Slipping, Pause, Edge, Muffled, Foil, Wake, Deny, Dwell, Pillow.
This narrative is true and I’ve rarely told the story in 50 years.