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Donna Flood
Hoelly Sole

By the time their Dad passed away we had all been conditioned to the reality of his death through his having gone through so many life threatening hemorrhages. As a young man he had an accident on a horse which damaged the tissue inside his sinuses and nose so badly it caused him grief for his whole life. The few years before he died, it was a real hazzard. One doctor literally refined his skills from working with the man in trying to stop the bleeding. Ultimately, a balloon was inserted into his nostril, inflated and acted to hold pressure, and in this way the doctor was able to stop the bleeding.

One could not see their Dad's beautiful clear blue eyes while he was resting in the sleep of death. The coat of the same color was a reminder though. His lovely hands were folding in such a way they became striking in their unusual beauty for a man. All and all, it wasn't a terribly sad site for his daughter. The funeral director was more of a friend to the town than anything else. He and his own aged father were masters' of their skill and all was respectfully and artfully ready for the funeral.

Lee's daughter remained at home away from the gathering of family and ministers. An evening service there beside her father was to be attended by a number of different ministers as is often the custom of the Indian people. He had to be respected for his ultra conservative ways, she felt. He was a kind man and causing a grieving family any more heartache would not have been given an okay. Calling attention to oneself also, was not his habit and the woman, his daughter, did not feel she was wrong in not attending. She had made a choice of solitude and was busily taking care of duties at the end of the day in a house made quiet by the absence of the family.

The ringing of the telephone was expected since the day had been filled with the noise from the instrument. However, when her niece made the statement, "Oh Auntie, the most awful thing has happened!" the woman was filled with a spirit of apprehension. She was thinking maybe, her mother, Lee's wife had collapsed or something or anything that might be a dire situation.

"You knew there were three ministers there?"

"Yes." "I knew." She wasn't able to see at the moment how the ministers would fit into "the most awful thing," her niece was going to tell her.

"Well." The younger woman was actually laughing but her aunt believed her to be crying.

"What is it?" "Did something happen to Gramma?" The woman was interrupting her niece.

"Oh no!" "Auntie, it wasn't anything like that." The young woman was maddening in her slow way of telling just what had happened. "You know those big old Wicker chairs in the funeral home?"

"Oh yes, I remember them." "I think they have been there an eternity." "They are huge, big, chairs." Still the aunt was having trouble in collecting from her niece what had happened

"Well there was one man at the speaker and two men sitting on those chairs." "All at once it looked like someone had taken a rope and jerked the chairs at the same time, flipping them over backwards." The men just were flat on their backs. "One could see the bottoms of their soles." "The Wicker was old and soft, and they could not get out of them."

"One of the men had a hole in the bottom of his shoe sole and it was so plainly visible." "The whole thing struck me as being so funny." "I could not laugh, knew I should not rudely laugh, but I was about to pop from the hilarious sight of seeing the two men on their back with their feet showing the soles of their shoes to the audience."

"I know," I thought. "I'll look back at Uncle Clark". "He will scowl at me for being so careless as to laugh and I'll be all right." The young woman was going on with her story. "But when I looked back everyone else was literally quietly shaking and trying desperately not to laugh." "Uncle Clark had his head way down and his whole chest shook with silent laughter." "I have to get out of here. I kept thinking."

"I did just that." "I went in the bathroom and sat there and laughed hysterically for I can't tell you how long." "Now, I feel so sacrilegious."

"Don't feel like that." The Aunt was counseling her niece. "You know what a weird sense of humor your Grand Dad possessed." "This would have been something he would have enjoyed so much." "I can see him now laughing until tears rolled down his cheeks." "He would have been gasping for breath, and trying to explain all at the same time."

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