Monday, April 07, 2008

More Opening Day -- and the intersection between past and present

I'm running late this morning, having started my day at the hospital for a CT scan -- just a follow-up to something from last year. Unrelated to my surgery then, should be no big deal now. But the internist said to do it and I did.

When you go in for any sort of procedure, you must be registered. And it's an elaborate process: They start you at the front desk and take your order and your insurance card and your ID and then they send you down the hall to be interviewed further.

I'd seen my interviewer before today; we'd met last year when I was registering for some other procedure. I'd found out then that she'd grown up in a parish where my granduncle was pastor.

I was never close to the man. My father and mother always attended the big Corn Beef and Cabbage Dinner at my granduncle's church, so it wasn't a matter of there being a falling out... it was just that a priest's parish is (was? can be? should be?) his family. They have prior call over shirt-tail relations. But my granduncle and I share the same relatively rare surname and she'd recognized it at once.

"I don't know if you'd remember," she said this morning, "but he used to wear a cape as well as a cassock, and when he wanted your attention he'd put his arm out and wrap you up in that cape and you'd have no choice but to look up at him."

I didn't know this, I said. Yikes! I thought to myself. If anyone tried this today they'd be sued.

She wasn't looking to sue. She clearly glowed at the memory, losing the narrative a moment as she felt again the sensation.

Oh, for a return to more innocent times, I thought, again to myself, as I watched her remember. Aloud, I said, "When he wanted to see you, you had no choice about it."

"No, you didn't," she said.

Since it is Opening Day, the talk turned to baseball. "He was a big Sox fan," she told me. "We could miss school, as 8th graders, if we were going to the game."

I held up my tie. I'm wearing my tie with the White Sox logo on it today, of course. She looked and laughed. "I was raised in the One True Faith, too, you know," I said, and she laughed again.

The world is so small.

1 comment:

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i looked at the word granduncle so many times and always see gran-dunkle. kind of like i see co-worker as cow-orker in the dilbert style. don't know why. just silly today i guess...

smiles, bee