Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Funeral

I was on my way to the memorial service for a dear friend’s mother. When I realized that I was 45 minutes early and I was two miles form the house I lived in with my parents, and then with my father after my mother had left us. Having driven by that house exactly one time since I left thirty three years ago, I figured that with all the reflecting I have been doing, I would quickly drive by and maybe snap a quick picture. It is not that I am never in the area. My house now is just eight miles north and two and a half miles east. I don’t go look because the day my mother came and snuck us away from that house while my dad was at work; my life was set on a crash course from sad to tragic. I knew it even then, that was the day my life would be changed forever, I had to be dragged out of that house kicking and screaming.

The “Nottingham West” sign looks just like it has since I was nine years old, nicely kept and well planted with annuals that were in full bloom as I pulled onto Country Club Drive. Everything and all of the houses look pretty much like it must have all along. American Flags flying and large gorgeous flower beds and plush lawns meticulously groomed. Honestly, I was in awe of how much hadn’t changed. As I rounded the bend just before the corner, I notice that there was a very tall older man in the driveway of what once was my best friend Suzie’s house. I slowed down to a crawl thinking nobody stays in the same house for thirty three years any more. He was tall, but he was not the tallest man I have ever seen. Suzie’s dad was the tallest man I had ever known when I was nine years old. This man was taller than my dad like Suzie’s dad was and this man was about the same age as my dad. It wasn’t until I saw the rare sports car in the garage in some state of refurbishment that I pulled over; ready to make a complete fool of myself, and I asked,
“You don’t happen to be Mr. E., do you?”
“Yes I am.” He says “Why?”
“I’m Sunday Koffron” I say, as I start to well up a bit
His look changes from curiosity to one of pleasant shock and total amazement.
“MY GOD! You are still alive!” he says.
And I am thinking “and he doesn’t even know the half of it!  The smart money was on dead by 25 in the death pool.” as I turn into a sobbing, blithering idiot as I am hugging this poor man who hasn’t seen my face in thirty three years. He tells me Mrs. E is out for a walk, she will be back soon. I tell him I have to go, that I am on that side of town for a funeral. I had just meant to quickly drive by the house and snap a quick photo. I never expected to see anyone I knew. I hoped he would say ‘Hi’ to everyone and let them know how much I have missed them all of these years. I told him that I had really had appreciated everything they had done for me.
“That was all my wife.” He said smiling. And so maybe it was.
I drove around the corner naming off who lived in each house on both sides of the street. I snapped a picture of my house on the way by, and continued driving and naming. I turned around at the end of my block and proceeded to drive out the way I came. As I passed the E’s house I noticed that Mrs. E had returned, as promised and was standing on the side walk with Mr. E. I am sure he was recounting story of the sobbing mess of a Sunday Koffron that had just stopped by. So I pulled over in a crunch for time, I hurriedly and tearfully thanked her for all of the kindness she had shown me, and I drove off leaving them standing on the side walk to contemplate what heck had just happened there. I know that was not how I had planned my day; I think it is safe to say seeing a ghost wasn’t on their agenda either!


Amy Koffron said...

Mrs. E was the sweetest woman i knew outside of grandma Leech. You always knew she loved you from your grimey snooty nose to the tips of yor muddy toes.

Anonymous said...

I remember you...and Andy and your sister Amy. My parents still live on your old street. I believe you had hanging beads in the doorway by your kitchen. Once in a while, I'll type a name from the past in to Google and your name was it on this "Sunday" night. Sorry to hear all you have been through. Best wishes, Heather G.

Sunday Kofffon Taylor said...

Thank you Heather, that is fantastic. It seems amazing to me that people stay in the same place for 30-40 years still, that is great. Do you remember playing out back in our play house? I loved living in that neighborhood.

I wish things would have worked out differently for my family and that both of my parents could have been more mature and made better decisions, they weren't and their children suffered the brunt of the consequences for that. But it is not all sad news, I met a lot of every day angles who helped me along the way. I took the long way to get here but I am happy and healthy and raising my children with a wealth of lessons learned, that is good news.

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