This is my memory so I shall tell you as I saw them. Ms. Virginia was the lady in any room she entered. She was tall in heels which she used to wear often and she always had some sort of jewelry ensemble on. Complete with broach. I remember playing in her jewelry box as a small girl and putting on so much that my arms were heavy. She said I could as long as I didn't take anything away. Oh, she was lovely and she had these expressive hand gestures that were long and wide and probably very envied by any closet drag queen that knew her. Her white hair was always neat, and she had the greatest cowlick in front that made a elegant Big Boy swirl right in front. She crocheted booties for everyone, every year. She didn't know how to open the hood of a car, let alone what a single thing was called under there. Oh, she knew the words, and how to spell them. But couldn't point at spark plug wire --unless there was a bet involved.
OT was a loud and stoic man. --Let's taste that a minute. Loud. And Stoic. Yup, that was him. From my end of the world, I knew everything he felt, and everything he thought. I somehow thought I had a magic window into his head and heart. He was my MAN. The only perfect man there ever was. Smoking, swearing, martinis, grousing. Perfect. He told dirty jokes and loved to antagonize the quietest person in the room. If there was a 20 something in the vicinity he was not related to, it was his mission to make her blush. And I never saw him fail. He loved a horrid cat that hated being alive and barely like him. He also loved his dogs Didn't care what shape size or color, as long as they followed the man's every word. I only know of one dog to ever ignore him.
She passed first. At her service, he told me if anything happened to him, I had to take his dog. I had the best behaved dogs he had ever seen. Which, of course, increased my size about 300%. So, I did. I have a poodle. She is blind, deaf and gray. I have seen her startle, literally, at her own shadow more than once. She smells wretched, and she has terrible discipline. When we go somewhere she is 8 inches behind me, if she gets any further, she gets lost.
When I lost her, I held my breath. Because I knew he would go soon. When I lost him, I grieved them both. I wanted to kneel at the grave, and promise to display their strengths, and remember the lessons they taught me. I wanted to absorb them both into me and make sure everyday that I did something that would honor them and what they gave me.
I guess today, I did.