One of the coach's seven sisters died last week, and I spent Saturday at her funeral. TRQ and I sat by Uncle Lew and behind Aunt Ruby who, at 90-plus, still sports fiery red hair and great makeup. The funeral was a funeral--equal parts tender and sad and funny. I watched with great pleasure as Lew would periodically nudge Ruby during the proceedings to share some private joke. He'd whisper something, and she'd laugh.
Here's the deal about my dad and his brothers. I never ever met people who enjoyed their little jokes, their small asides like they do. I remember watching them at family reunions, standing in a semi-circle like they were getting ready to bless a baby in church. Except that instead of praying they were listening to each other tell stories. And when whichever brother got to the punchline, the others would squint, grin, and finally roar out a laugh.
Half of those siblings have died now. But their love of the gently absurd lives on.