Thursday, July 31, 2008

365 # 31: Heidi D.

My Mom called yesterday to tell me that your long struggle with cancer had finally come to an end. If there is any kind of cosmic karmic justice at work in this universe we inhabit, you will be reincarnated as a koala bear. Koala bears have few worries beyond hanging out in trees, sleeping, eating, and basically just taking it easy, which sounds like a pretty good life to me. Which is exactly what you deserve.

But enough about your next incarnation, what about the one you just left? I don't know much about your life growing up in Germany, only that you met your husband when he was stationed over there during WWII. The two of you got married and you came back to the States with him...or vice-versa. You left everything behind to be with him and found yourself in Houston Yee-Haw Texas where you raised up two sons and a daughter.

We moved in next door to you sometime in the late 70's or early 80's. I don't remember, I was just a kid. You nicknamed me "Snapper" the first time you laid eyes on me. It sounded like "Schneppa" in your thick German accent. You offered up no explanations for this nickname, and you were the only one who ever called me it, but it stuck for good. I don't think you ever used my real name. And why would you when you could call me a great name like "Snapper?"

It would not at all be an exaggeration to say that you helped raise me. They say it takes a village, a statement that's doubly true when you're talking about single parents, and you were citizen # 1. I floated freely between my own house and yours. When my mom wasn't home, you kept an eye on me to make sure I didn't burn anything down. And because you had never learned how to cook in small quantities, you always had tons of great leftovers hanging around. Come to think of it, it might've been partly your fault that I was a fat kid, but I won't hold it against you.

So yeah, that koala bear thing...I'd say you earned it. Thanks for everything.


Jenn C. said...

Sorry for your loss, Travis. What a great remembrance of Heidi.

sybil law said...

She sounds awesome!
And koalas are so laid back because the eucalyptus leaves get them high! They are baked all day long. True story!