Thursday, July 26, 2012

Macabre? Yes, but it got a laugh

It’s been three years since my sister Nan passed away. At her daughter’s wedding this past weekend, she was in all of our thoughts. I especially remember her great sense of humor. Here’s an example.

Nan was very ill. Yet she always managed to retain her sense of humor, despite her kidney and heart problems and the bottles of medication on the table and what seemed like almost daily visits to the internist, cardiologist, nephrologist, pulmonary doctors, and CVS to pick up prescriptions. And of course, what seemed like regular visits to the emergency room of Albany Medical Center. She had a walker and a wheelchair that folded up in the trunk, and many oxygen tanks stored in her apartment. Whenever we went to the movies at the Spectrum, she also insisted on having an extra tank with her. Just in case.

Nan had a good friend who was on the board of the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy. At the friend’s invitation, Nan and I attended a concert held in Oakwood’s beautiful and historic chapel. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the cemetery is situated on a long bluff with a panoramic view of the Hudson Valley. Knowing how ill she was, Nan decided that she would like her final resting place to be here.

One day she decided she’d like another look and wanted to show me a site she liked. So we drove over the bridge to Troy but then couldn’t remember the exact directions to Oakwood. We stopped at a garage but the young mechanic didn’t know. We drove around for a while and noticed a police station. As we parked, a detective came over to the car and asked, “Can I help you, ladies?” He laughed when Nan said, “Yes. Can you direct us to Oakwood? We’re shopping for a cemetery.”