Episode 6 – The Poker Game
Today I decided to hang out with CJ. I am not usually permitted to do this as she is always busy doing her work around this place. Mr. B sends her out on road trips a lot, too. She said as long as I was out of sight, she didn’t mind today. We started our day, ordering embalming supplies and doing a casket inventory. The latter part of the day was spent in the casket showroom, dusting and cleaning the various models there. Mr. B likes to keep the lids closed until a family comes in, due to the dust. He doesn’t want the linings and fluffy pillows to get dirty. I skipped along the tops of them as she moved from one to another cleaning them. We were going to have an appointment the next morning so she opened each to unfurl the draping, fluff the pillows, and tidy them for the selection process. I slipped off an emerald green lid with very shiny gold trim and plopped right onto the thick comfy velour pillow. Ahh! Very nice! I filed that into memory…in case I needed some winter nesting stuff.
CJ shot me a panicked look as Mr. Becker entered the room. “CJ, we just got a house call. Go get ready and pull the van out. I’ll be with you in a few minutes.” With that, CJ scooped me out of the bottom of the green casket and put me into her smock pocket. We made our way down to the prep-room office where she removed the smock and put on her ‘house call’ jacket. I leapt into her purse, and hid there.
Mr. B always had CJ drive to the calls. He did not always accompany her, but he told her ‘Joe’ was a long-time friend of his. We drove for a while, and then pulled into a long driveway made of gravel, which continued up a hill to the house. Mr. B got out and went to the door while CJ waited in the van. A few minutes later, he returned and the two of them removed the ‘cot’ or gurney, then they went up to the door together. CJ didn’t know I was in her jacket pocket now. However, I just had to know what went on at these house calls. When we entered the house, it was dimly lit. There was a group of men seated at the kitchen table, playing cards. One of the men got up, went to a cabinet, and came back to the table with five shot glasses and a bottle of whiskey. He filled the glasses, and set one out for each of the men at the table, and handed one to Mr. B. The man raised his glass in a toast and the others joined him, all except for one. YIKES!
“To you, Pa!” “Here, here!” chimed the men, before tipping back the glasses and emptying them. “Dad sure loved a good game of poker. And, he always knew when to fold.” With that, Mr. B and the sons carefully removed Joe from the chair he’d been seated in, wrapped him in a sheet, and lifted him to the cot. We slowly and somberly rolled Joe out of the house. I could hear one of the men say “Goodnight, Pa.” Then the door closed quietly behind us.
This entry was posted on May 20, 2013 at 1:21 am and is filed under Death, Funeral home, Grief, Loss with tags Death call, Dying. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.