Friday, December 29, 2017


Today is the anniversary of the Coach's death.

It's also the anniversary of one of TRQ's finest moments ever.  Here's the story.

After we realized that Dad had passed away, TRQ asked me to call the mortuary and make arrangements.

"Who should I call?"

"You know.  Olpin over there on 8th North in Orem."

So I looked up Olpin's number and called.  They arrived promptly and could not have been kinder or more professional.

Meanwhile, Ken Cannon began making arrangements for the the Texans to come home for the funeral.  The airlines needed information.  Where was the body?  I told Ken Cannon, "You know.  Olin over there on 8th North in Orem."

There was a pause.  And then this:  "Olpin isn't on 8th North in Orem."

Another pause.  Me this time.  "Yes.  Yes it is."

Less of a pause.  "No.  No it isn't.  Look it up."

So I did and right there online it said "State Street," which is not exactly the same thing as "8th North."  So I called.

ME:  Hello.  Just checking up here.  Is Coach Edwards' body there?"

Polite pause.

ME AGAIN:  It's okay.  I'm his daughter.

THEM:  Yes.  He's here.

ME:  Okay.  Where are you located?

THEM:  In Orem.  On State Street.

ME:  Are you sure you're not on 8th North?

THEM:  Yes.

ME (desperation growing):  WERE YOU EVER ON 8TH NORTH?!

(AUTHOR'S NOTE:  I like all the magical thinking going on here.  If I can just get them to say the words 8th North, then everything will be okay.)

THEM:  No.

The woman I spoke with could not have been kinder or more patient.  It's possible that grieving family members call with crazy questions all the time.  All I know is that when I hung up, I was sick at heart.  How was I going to tell TRQ what I'd done?  For the record, there are very few feelings worse in this life than the one caused when you realize you've sent your father's body to the wrong mortuary.

 Ask anybody who's done this.  They'll tell you I'm right.

Anyway, I screwed up my courage and called TRQ on her cellphone because she was out riding around with my brother in his car.  "Mom," I said.  "I have some bad news."  And then I told her what had happened.

There was another long pause.  It was a day of many long pauses.  Finally she said, "Oh, Honey.  It's a shame to lose your father twice in one day, isn't it?"

I laughed.  I cried.  I laughed.  She laughed.  She cried.  She laughed.  I called her this morning and we laughed again.

TRQ is the best, people.  The best.  And the people at Olpin could not have arranged things better.  In fact, it turned out that the mortician Kelly Sandberg's father played football with my father in high school.  I cannot tell you how sweet this detail seemed to me.  Dad was in good hands--at the place he was certainly meant to be.