Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Welcome to "Tom Allison Way"

Dear Tom,
It has been two weeks since you passed away.  I haven't been showering much, and it is harder to check my voice mail.  Harder than normal and you know how hard it already was.   But as we know, that problem has nothing to do with your death. :)

But The Girl and I have found our answer to all those chores we aren't doing. 
All the junky snacks we have been eating. 

"We are in mourning."   The answer that has no reply.

I read about mourning periods and some even say you should mourn half the duration of the relationship.  That means we could mourn for 4.6 years. 

Man, that is A LOT of truffles. 

But, to be honest, as the days have passed, it seems less and less heavy.  The numbness has worn off for me anyway, and most of the time I can see you healthy, happy and in peace in my mind.  Like the old days.  Old pictures have really been helping replace the body and mind image you had at the end of your earthly journey. 

Plus, having an eternal perspective is nice too.  It sure helps.

I wanted to tell you that I have much to do in the next five weeks.

RYLA begins on Saturday, then the big Tallants Fourth of July Party on July 2nd, and then we are off to the long-awaited-postponed-several-times-trip to Alaska. 

Today I am feeling it is a good day to tell you what I have to say.
I have officially renamed 108th Street where the cemetery is "Tom Allison Way." 

No, I didn't ask the City of Kansas City. 

Or the Mayor. 

But I am now on the Communications Committee for the City of Smithville, so I bet I can get permission from Brother Mayor Fullmer.  I mean they drive by the cemetery when they are going to the WalMart, so I am sure it counts the same.  :)

So, that said, I wanted to record some things I have figured out since you moved to your new home.

The viewing was a lovely evening.  My favorite kind of clouds...which I am sure you had something to do with. 

We were careful to make sure you got your red and white flowers (camaro colors).  Mike did an excellent job following out your desires.  Including donating any flower donations to the 5th floor of the hospital...oncology.  The nice Hixson-Klein people even delivered them for us.

We saw this on the way to the funeral.  I know you like it when good conquers evil.

The procession was long and we took 92 Highway to make sure we could all stay together.  You know I love me a country drive so I enjoyed it.  Janeel had given us cookies at the church so we ate them in the car while we followed the hearse and camaro.  Carol T was with us since she was kind enough to give Joey, Jennifer, and Connor a chance to ride in the camaro to the cemetery.    Dave wanted to burn out, but he was afraid he would ram the hearse....which would have been awkward.

Speaking of the camaro, there was something extremely therapeutic about it attending the funeral.  I think it is a combination of things.  That you loved it so much.  When it came out it meant sunshine, happy, and perhaps some ice cream.  I will always be grateful to the Tallants for buying it from you and bringing it that day.

It wasn't sunny per say that day,  but there was some nice cloud work.  Again.  Thanks.

The pallbearers got you to where you needed to be.  It is such the perfect location that I can hardly stand it.  It is on a hill, with a most interesting view. 

See the arrow?  That photoshopped yellow flame marks your
spot.  We see it almost every day.

The traffic of 169 and 108th  Tom Allison Way reminds me of your life in San Fransisco.  Traffic sounds.  City noise.  But when you turn your back towards it, you see green rolling Missouri hills.  Birds chirping.  Quiet peace.  It is so lovely...representing both factions of your life. 

Of course, a big tree for Allison tree climbing--which, since I am in a naming mood, have named Tree.  Now, when you are running fast in your Star Wars shoes after you are resurrected make sure you don't run immediately to that tree to climb it.  You will need to come visit us who have missed you in case we didn't connect at the Eastern Gate.

You know I like "moments."  So, for good measure, I kept my promise to look after you until you were buried.  I got up early the first morning you were at the cemetery and threw on my jammies (I wanted you to recognize the "crazy lady" from the temple chasing mornings).  We are only 1.2 miles from you.  Closer than when you lived on McGee.

I came over to make sure your casket was in the ground.  I came over to smooth the dirt above for when your family comes to visit.  I came over to see the first sunrise.  I only did what I thought you would do for me.

The morning was cloudy and grey, at first.  The ONLY opening was right
about me and and Tree.  Blue blue sky only there. 
As if the Heavens opened for me to look up and see you happy and peaceful there. 

As I watched the sun peek through, the clouds went away and the bluest sky came about. It reminded me of the peaceful green of Ireland.

There is something else that I have figured out about the cemetery.  When a veteran is buried, the Christian Motorcycle gang comes out to scare away the Westboro protesters.

They also bring abot 20 flags to honor the way to the funeral home.

I know you will love hearing the loud motorcycles.  You know the kind of loud I mean.  The kind that I would cover-my-ears-and-you-and-Dave-would-be-embarrassed-that-I-was-covering-my-ears-at-a-car-show-loud.

So, the reason why I think the street should be renamed Tom Allison Way is that it has an Tom Allison history.  Your last work project was installing the flashing red light on 108 and Platte Purchase.  Remember that day?  You called after me and said that you had a strong feeling that you were seriously ill and going to be sick a long time.  You were standing right there at that intersection when you said it.  I will never forget the spooked sound in your voice.

There are plenty of cows to tell us the weather when we drive on it.

And it is always the way that we drive when are going to your former home for your kids or to see your parents. 

See, it is the perfect name.
Now, there is the matter of your new cemetery neighbors.  There is another Thomas, who had his funeral at the Antioch Baptist Church.  Good thing you have been hanging out with the Baptists almost the last two will have plenty in common.  I like his scripture because at the funeral we sang "God Be With You Until We Meet Again."  :) 

There is Elma.  She died two months ago and has her sod replaced over her tomb.  She doesn't have flowers like everyone else so I try to bring some for her when we come over to visit.

There is Dave.  He has an American flag so I wonder if he is a veteran.

And there is Austin.  Austin was five when he passed.  He caught a unknown virus and died 12 hours later.  It is heartbreaking.  He has two older siblings and a mother our age.  He died about 2 weeks before you.

How do I know Austin's story?

One night last week, The Girl make some Boba Fett cookies from the cutters she got from Melissa M.  She wore her Star Wars apron and we took them to your grave to eat them. 

We met Jill, Austin's mother, while we were there and had such a warm conversation.  She said Austin was an angelic boy and that his favorite things in the world were cars.  Red cars.   :)  Funny, we said, our angelic friend loved a certain red car, too. 

It comforts all of us to think that Austin is not alone there in that cemetery and that someone as great as you is there with him. 

Enjoy your sunsets, Tom, on Tom Allison Way.  You are loved and
we speak of and miss you every day.  :)