Wednesday, September 05, 2007

My Baubie Died And All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt

I got a lot of things from my Baubie-my hazel eyes, my penchant for dirty jokes, my mommy. When she died last week it was a sad day for many people. I was not surprised to see tons of friends and relatives at her funeral. I was surprised though when a cousin went up to my mother less than 2 hours after she buried Baubie to ask her when she was going to be going through Baubie’s good jewelry.

It surprised me not only because it was completely obnoxious, but because Baubie didn’t have good jewelry. Baubie had 1 daughter, 3 grandchildren and a great grandchild. That was her life, she didn’t have a lot of money or possessions. She had mountains of photographs of us. Lots of inappropriate jokes for me to tell at parties. But “good jewelry?” No. Not really.

My husband was very sad to lose Baubie - he even delivered a beautiful eulogy about how much she was loved and how much everyone loved her. But in the days that followed, what troubled him more was how she died with nothing. It worried him that she must have been upset to leave behind nothing to give to her children. My parents helped her wherever they could but she was too proud to take much so she lived a simple life. Now I respect my husband. Love him. He is my moon and stars. But-like he is most of the time when I am right-he is wrong.

Maybe Baubie wasn’t the wisest of spenders but what she had was certainly far from nothing. In fact, I would argue she had more than a lot of people do. People that loved her. How many people die with millions but lost the respect of their families? Or leave an estate to their beloved dog? THAT is sad. She may not have had “things” but she had me. She had the love of a thousand people. This is my first loss since I had my daughter, and it hit me harder than anticipated. Because of all the “things” I can give my daughter with money, I can never give her another Baubie Radine.

A funeral is not an amusement park. Nobody needs a souvenir from your life to give you worth. While I am all about fiscal responsibility, I think it would be nice for more people to focus on their value as a person versus the value of their bank account. I won’t get any fancy diamonds that I can brag about to friends. Or enough money to buy a small island. But I have great memories. I have a smile on my face when I think about her.

I guess if I have to have something tangible to remember my Baubie with I do have the t-shirt my brother gave me when I told him I forgot my pajamas at home. I put it on before I went to kiss my mother good night after the long day of the funeral. When I turned to head out of the room my mother started to laugh and laugh. Apparently the back of my shirt said “Big Black Dick” in large colorful letters. My mother and I both agreed that wherever Baubie was she got a good chuckle off that too, she always enjoyed a dirty t-shirt. My brother claims it is a type of rum. I don’t know if I believe him, but I do know if that shirt, and the heart-helping laugh it provided, is my “souvenir” from Baubie’s funeral, that’s pretty priceless.


Anonymous said...

What a special person your Baubie must have been. I am sure you will keep her memory alive for your daughter with what seems like some very funny stories.

Rob in Skokie said...

You SO described Baubie Radine!! You may not have money or "stuff" from her, but you have memories.

Anonymous said...

Well said!
Our society is far too focused on materialistic needs and no longer takes the time to appreciate what's truly important.

I hope you set your husband straight.