I like to read their names, first of all, because I am fascinated by unusual, alliterative, evocative, or just downright funny names. One of my favorites recently was Esther Sylvester. How awesome is that? Her name is a poem. (Way cooler than the Esther who was of one of my Uncle Marshall's customers at his candy shop. He used her for advertising every Easter. He made a huge chocolate egg and put it in the window of his store. On it, in icing, he wrote Happy Easter Esther Oyster! Pretty good name. Right up there with another goofy Grandma-friend name: Flossie Shawbell. But I digress.)
A 97-year old woman passed away at a comforting place called "Nannie's Inn." If I can choose a place to have to die, I want to go there. But here's the thing: her name was Hope, and she was preceded in death by her two sisters...Faith and Charity. I'm not lying; look it up.
And how much did I love the obit of the beloved Very Irish husband, last name O'Something, whose kids' names were Kathleen, Timothy, Sean, Maureen, and Patrick? But the best part of all was that his real name, Eugene, is listed, and then, in quotation marks, the name "Geniehoney." I smiled and felt my heart melt and my eyes tear up just a little. Can't you just hear his wife calling him that all the time? So much so that it became his name? I love that the family put it in the paper.
You already know how I love the non-traditional photos for obituaries. I forgot to save/remember the one of the middle-aged woman wearing the Teletubbies sweatshirt. I had to read that obit because I had to know more about her. Turns out, if anyone had a reason to sport a Teletubbies sweatshirt, it was she. She was only 58 years old, but had something like 14 kids, 38 grandchildren and already many great-grandchildren. Wow!
But the photo in this obituary still seems odd to me. The woman died at the age of 84; the picture shows a much younger lady. Yet, the photograph is not antique-looking, and the photography doesn't look as if it was from the era of the 50s when she was a model. (It might be a mixup, but I doubt it. There has been no correction online or in the Monday print edition.) That's not the most intriguing facet to this obit, however. If you read farther into the article, you come across this incredible sentence: In later life she was afflicted with a shower of frogs. That's it. There is absolutely no context surrounding this amazing statement to give you Clue One as to what it refers to. And that is why I love it. This woman had a fantastic life and, obviously, a fabulous family or group of friends who continue to celebrate her personality even after she is gone. Is she lucky, or what? I don't give a damn about the frog shower or what it really means. I just love the fact that it's in her obituary--inexplicably and unapologetically. Probably a lot like her.