I believe in the afterlife and I believe I we are visited by those whom have passed before us. I take comfort in knowing that I receive visitors; not often, not every day, but I know it when it happens. And yesterday’s visit made me laugh and cry and I’m *still* laughing.
Tom McGovern was a very crabby man and was proud of the fact that he didn’t like people. Tom was my uncle, twin to my other uncle, Tim McGovern. Tim was quite possibly the happiest McGovern out there, and that’s saying something, because the McGoverns loved to be the antagonists, the pot-stirrers, the rabble-rousers, the I’ll-speak-my-mind-and-probably-never-apologize-later type of people. I grew up around some wicked-biting sarcasm, and admit I have enjoyed many of the tongue lashings I have been witness to over the years.
The Twins fit together, like peas and carrots; Nice Twin, Evil Twin and together they balanced each other out.
They were 12 years older than me, so when I appeared on the farm back in the day, they were right there and were like brothers to me. Tim was my favorite and I adored him from the moment I met him. We were great friends our entire lives until he left this earth in 2010, struck down by cancer and a terrible fear of doctor visits.
My heart; officially broken.
Tom did not like being in this world without Tim, I don’t think he had a peaceful day after Tim’s funeral. His heart was not only broken; it was now half missing. He became even angrier and although we attempted to remain civil towards each other, eventually we stopped talking. Even as I received news that Tom was not well, I said nothing to him. He was mean and hurt my feelings boo-freakin’-hoo.
In January of 2013, my brother Sean called to say Tom was in Cook Country Hospital and that it didn’t look good. Then a call from my mom, “Don’t go see him Meagan, he doesn’t want to see you.” I lived blocks away from Cook County Hospital and I said to my mom, “If he wants to go to his grave hanging on to some stupid outrageous resentment, that’s his choice — that seems to be everyone’s choice in this family, but it’s NOT how I live and I am GOING to go see him!!” Even my Aunt Nancy called to say not to visit, that he was still mad at me. I said nothing, then hung up. I went to Cook County Hospital to see my Uncle Tom.
We had a lively talk; he talked about who he wanted to say goodbye to and what he will miss. We laughed about eating hot dogs and skittles. He asked me to bring him an Italian sub from Bari on Grand, I agreed. He talked of the Board of Trade and how he missed Tim. He told me to go see my mother. I hugged him through the masks and tubes. We both had tears in our eyes.
“Do you know what’s going on here, Tom?” “Yeah of course, Mommie Dearest is standing in the doorway, waving at me.” “Anyone else standing there?” “No.” “Are you okay with this?” “Yes.”
Tom died three days later. Refused his last rites, take THAT Catholics.
So yesterday I was in Zumba class and it was packed to the gills with the ladies from Dripping Springs. The energy was high and the music was pumping and everyone was in a great mood. You could feel it! I really do love starting my day with this class, it’s a kick to the heart and there are so many women in this class who are enjoying the hell out of it — I am one of those gals.
About ten minutes into class, I said to myself, “oh my there’s a lot of young nursing mothers in this class, obviously!!” The amount of jiggling, bouncy, brightly covered boobs were more remarkable this day than on any other day, and the hips were in full gyration as well! I glanced at the instructor Anna, and in a flash, her smiling face became my Uncle Tom’s face. I quickly looked away and said to myself, “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT, TOM?????!?!?!”
I couldn’t look at her yet, my eyes darted around the room; I continued to zumba away and I fired out the questions…. “Tom hates health clubs, why would he show up here? Plus Tom hates me, what is he doing here?” Then I looked up and around at the women in the room and saw again that the room was full of voluptuous, dancing breasts, bouncing from one side of the room to the other and it made me smile. I was ready to look at Anna and sure enough, there was Tom’s smiling face looking at me, looking around the room, laughing, laughing, LAUGHING! He was beaming!
I started laughing too, and then tears streamed down my face. I didn’t stop dancing, I kept zumbaing, as I looked at all the wonderful bouncing boobs and I was hysterical in my head! I laughed all the way home and was so very happy to see my Uncle Tom, and to see his Irish eyes were a’smiling, xoxo.