My father and I went to a funeral where the minister berated us. He told us all that we only came to church for funerals and holidays. He shouted bible passages at us and said little about the dearly departed. My father sat two rows behind me. I had floated around saying hello to people and was sitting next to a long-lost cousin when the service started. Did the…minister just say that we were going to…hell? I had to look back to see dad’s reaction. He raised a brow in suppressed glee with a hint of a smile. I looked back again and saw him gleaming.
I didn’t cry at my father’s funeral. At my father’s funeral there was just a headshot of him that my step mother blew up. Dad had been cremated. The life behind his eyes leapt out at us from the photo.
People got up to pay tribute to dad — one advertised his business between the tribute. Why not pitch a sale to all of the grieving potential customers? I looked at dad’s gleaming eyes in the photo and stifled laughter. What would dad say to this? Dad had a sly sense of humor but would also have compassion for the absurd need of this poor soul.
I also don’t know how he would have liked the song that a lady from the church had sung. For my taste it was too sweet and generic. But as you know I’m a weirdo. I looked at dad’s picture during the song. While he would have appreciated it, he gleamed impishly at me from the photo. I would have chosen “Spill the Wine” by Eric Burdon and War. The fantastical lyrics remind me of him. The group also had a grimy sensibility like my dad. My sister cried during this lady’s sentimental song. My sister and I were the first ones out of the church after the funeral. “I can’t be-lieve you cried during that song,” I said. She looked at me with her tear-streaked face and we burst out laughing, standing at the top of the church steps.
While dad was in a coma I cried walking down the street – in the middle of talking to people. I always thought that if my father died, I would just drop dead. How would I live? No one would ever love me like this again. I used to hear him in my inner-ear while he was still alive, just calling “Sandee. Sandee.” There was a black hole now.
I had prayed while he was in a coma. I guess it worked because after the initial mourning, I felt spiritually revitalized. They say people born under the sign of Scorpio experience renewal upon death. Interesting, because it happened to me. Aside from that, one day the thought came to me, If dad died, it can’t be a bad thing.
Brigitte’s post on astrology made me think of my sad history with being a Scorpion. My parents used Linda Goodman’s astrology book as a child rearing tool. Not cool. They put me in a box and treated me a certain way because of my sign, whether or not I actually exhibited any of the traits. Oh, she’s refusing to eat her asparagus — she’s a strong-willed Scorpion child. She’ll grow up to be a doctor because she’s fearless and focused. We’ve got to punish her more because she’s so stubborn.
Not! As I began reading astrology books, I thought, wow, Scorpions are badass. I’m not worthy. So I’ll just act the way Linda Goodman says we are in the book. It backfired. She said Scorpions have a penetrating stare. So I stared, penetratingly, at people. It was weird. I loved the idea of getting revenge on all my little friends who had fucked me over, and Scorpions are known for revenge. Right? I thought that it was my job to get revenge on people because I was a Scorpion. Well, any lame attempt that I made to get any earth-shattering revenge generally backfired – the people that I thought I was revenging didn’t know that they were being revenged. And Scorpions are not supposed to be afraid of anything. I was afraid of every fucking thing.
From the age of eight on I suffered from a disease called achalasia. I became malnourished and couldn’t focus in school. I was in special progress classes so became more intimidated because of my inability. If my parents had known what to do, they would have done it. I think my youthful parents and the disease did a lot to undermine my situation. They didn’t have the resources to mentor me and to interact in a way that would nurture my natural personality. While they gave me a brilliant childhood, my adolescence suffered because of the shortcomings. Feeling the burden of being a Scorpion, I was unworthy. My self-esteem suffered.
But as an adult who has found herself at the end of the journey, hell yeah, don’t mess with me – I got my mojo back. No, I’m just finally experiencing my true nature. I remember the two Scorpion types that Linda Goodman described, the grey lizard and the eagle. Despite my effort to deprogram myself from my parent’s rearing on this, I believe I had been a grey lizard, a seething envious, imploding sort. As an adult, I’m definitely the phoenix, or the eagle, and I do see a lot of the traits of Scorpio in me. Though I always thought I was Aquarius rising, I had my chart done, and everything was in Scorpio. I’ve been told I’m intense. I still don’t like being judged by my sign. Don’t think that I’m refusing to eat my asparagus just because I’m a Scorpion. But I do share a birthday with Danny DeVito and Martin Scorsese – kick ass!