When I was fifteen I started working after school for an elderly man doing light housekeeping. I worked for him even after I was married.
We developed quite the friendship.
His name was Clyde Wright.
And one day he gave me something from his home that I still have because I treasure it.
It’s a lamp like no other I’ve ever seen.
It’s a brass table lamp, even the shade is brass.
It also has two amber glass balls that you pull to turn the light off and on.
It has a finial of a moon and star.
He brought it back from Europe with him after the war.
And when he found out how much I loved it, he gave it to me.
I’ve had in our bedroom, but recently moved it into the living room.
Mr. Wright died shortly after the death of his best friend. He told me that he really didn’t have any reason to live anymore because everyone he truly cared about was gone. He said that at his death the few remaining family members would come out of the woodwork for their inheritance.
That made me sad. But the reality was that no one ever came to visit Mr. Wright. Maybe that’s why he so looked forward to me coming every week.
We would talk about baseball, especially the Chicago Cubs. He loved the Cubs.
My husband and I went to his funeral.
We entered the funeral home to find a large crowd gathered. I was surprised how many had shown up to pay their respects. I signed the guest book and we made our way over to view the body, to see him one last time.
As I peered into the coffin I turned to my husband and said, “That’s not him.”
“What gives it away?”, said my husband.
It was a woman. A woman I had never seen before.
Seems we were in the wrong room at the funeral parlor. I didn’t know there could be more than one funeral going on at the same time!
When we found the Wright funeral (right funeral) I wasn’t surprised to see so few. There they all stood making jokes and having a time as if they were at a night club.
And there I stood, the cleaning lady sobbing as I thought about the loss of this dear man.