My parents died three weeks apart. Nineteen days, to be exact.
Yeah, those were good times.
Before anyone thinks their love had been so great that they couldn’t have lived without one another, know this: they couldn’t stand each other.
So much so that after my Dad passed, while my friends tried to comfort me by saying things like, “your dad died of a broken heart,” (I’m sure his wife at the time would’ve enjoyed hearing that) my Asian family — the superstitious lot that they are — shook their heads and declared, “your mother come back for him!”
In fairness to my relatives, my Mom could hold quite the grudge. A few months before she died, the two of us had been told the sobering news: her cancer had spread and the doctors had done all they could. After arriving home, she demanded I call my Dad and tell him the news. The moment I hung up, she inquired how it went.
“So,” my Mom asked, “Did you tell him I’m dying?”
“Yes,” I said, a little disturbed by her questioning.
She then wondered, “Does he feel bad?”
“Of course he does!” I exclaimed.
To which, she smugly replied, “Good.”
With this in mind, I’ve imagined my parents’ reunion in the hereafter going a little something like this:
My Mom’s lounging around, lying back, eyes closed, sipping some kind of fruity drink, enjoying her life — or non-life — when my Dad casually saunters up.
“Hey.” He says.
My Mom’s eyes fly open, then seeing who it is, asks, horrified, “What are you doing here?”
“By the looks of it, I think I’m dead,” he replies.
She crosses her arms, and inquires, “Shouldn’t you be someplace warmer? Like hell?”
To which he retorts, “This must be hell. You’re here.”