Rattling the Cage (Rollie Triptych, Part III)

Rattling the Cage
(Rollie Triptych, Part III)

Rollie Matt 001
Perfect timing for
a horrible outcome
On impulse, we drove
to Binghamton for a visit

Stayed with my folks
Call at 5 am, Mom
jostled me awake
“Rollie’s in the E.R!”

He’d sat up in bed
Said, “I can’t breathe”
and all 300 pounds of him
flopped back, dead
Rollie Casey Teddy Bears 001
Hospital. “He’s gone, Amer.”
But his son turned 1 last week
Older son only 4
I was so pissed at God

Funeral, Baptist Church
His folks’ choice, wife’s
voice unheard, unheeded
Pastor, on a roll, droned on

“Rollie’s above with Jesus”
(when his true loves were his wife,
a beer, a bong, and a beer bong)
“Blah blah blah Jesus blah blah”

Mid-sermon, a THUD
A big one, stopped preacher
about the Pearly Gates

Sis whispered, “What was that?”
Couldn’t help my reply
“Rollie turning in his casket”
We cracked up, but good

Shoulders shaking and
folks behind us thought
we were sobbing, patted
support on our shoulders

Which made us laugh harder
Yowza, leave it to Rollie
prankster, stoner, merry-maker
To poke us with one last joke

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

The final chapter of The Book Of Roland Newton. Rollie died at 36 of an embolism.  Pictured above with older son Matt, around age 2, and younger son Casey on his first birthday, surrounded by the teddy bears that always remind me of their dad.  Matt and Casey are young men now, both charting their different courses.  I wish they knew their dad from more that just stories told – usually funny ones.  Everyone should have a Rollie in their lives.

This is for ABC Wednesday… Y is for Yowza and Young.  Peace, Amy

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Roger Green
    Jul 04, 2014 @ 04:54:58

    Ya know why I hate a lot of funerals? Because they mostly have a bunch of people talking about the deceased as though they have little idea who he or she really was. Funny stuff, Any


  2. Sabra Bowers
    Jul 04, 2014 @ 06:17:22

    You wrote a wonderful, real tribute. Makes me want to know him.


  3. Carver
    Jul 04, 2014 @ 09:44:33

    Great story. What a shame that his wife’s views weren’t considered. Seems like she should have been the main voice as to the service. Great shot and such a shame his children didn’t have more time with their father. Carver, ABCW-Team (I’m not posting for ABC for a while but am visiting as part of the team when needed).


  4. brian miller
    Jul 04, 2014 @ 11:58:51

    smiles…ha…what a last little gift he left…ah, you know i think the funeral is more for the mourners than anyone…at least that is what it becomes about…he sounds like quite the intriguing guy…oy, beer bongs, giving me nightmare flashbacks…lol…


  5. lesliebc
    Jul 04, 2014 @ 12:43:21

    Sounds like he was a real cracker jack with a great sense of humour! What a wonderful memory to have of him.

    abcw team


  6. Polly
    Jul 04, 2014 @ 17:06:42

    Fab tale – poignant poetry.


  7. kaykuala h
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 06:06:38

    You have a classic way of making a somber episode to be accepted in a lighter mood. Rollie seemed a nice guy to be around with. Sadly his demise was at such a young age! Great write Amelita! Happy 4th to you and family Ma’am!



  8. Suzy
    Jul 06, 2014 @ 03:13:56

    Lovely tribute. Sounds like he was a really great guy.


  9. purplepeninportland
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 22:36:26

    ‘mid-pontification’ – Who else would think of that? This is wonderful, Amy.


  10. jadepagepress
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 06:32:58

    oh, life!


  11. Kim McMillan
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 10:49:08

    wow.  powerful.



  12. ManicDdaily
    Jul 13, 2014 @ 14:09:55

    Oh dear–so sad–reallly well expressed, and clever–but just sad. Take care, Amy. k.


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