Posted by: silverstar98121 | February 20, 2009


You may or may not know there are a couple of steps to sainthood in the Catholic Church. The first of these is beatification, and requires a verified miracle. I have asked my practicing Catholic sibs to refer my father for beatification. He was a good man, did good works all his life, including working on a soup kitchen and Habitat for Humanity, just to name a couple. And now he’s worked his first miracle already. The seven of us got together, and there was not one single cross word in three days. This is truly a miracle.

I credit this to my sister I am fondest of and the brother I am least fond of. They were cleaning out Dad’s apartment when they had a truly inspired idea. They began dividing things up into piles for each of us. We were presented with these things in gift bags on Friday night. A lot of it was truly crap, like batteries of unknown strength and zip ties. But everybody got something good.

This all started when they found a shoe organizer in my Dad’s stuff. He who hasn’t worn shoes in years because they hurt his feet. And they immediately knew it must go to my sister who has the well-deserved nickname of Imelda. You do remember Imelda Marcos and her thousands of pairs of shoes, don’t you? And it proceeded from there. Often we got back things we had given Dad. I got back the wheelchair chaps and umbrella.

On Friday night we were told to look through our bags and see what we wanted to keep, and what we were willing to put up for auction on Sunday morning to get something else. So we looked through our gift bags, and wondered at the crap Dad had. We all got a screw driver. We all got six-way plugs (it’s a miracle he didn’t burn the place down.)You never knew what you were going to find. For instance, I got a boom box that was new in it’s box. But, as I said, a lot of it was crap.

Sunday morning we had a  breakfast designed to get rid of all the sausage, cranberry juice and pancake mix my dad had. We had sausage links, sausage patties, and biscuits with sausage gravy. There were also pancakes and cranberry juice. Lots of cranberry juice. I think we succeeded in getting rid of all of it.

After breakfast was the auction, where we could use the crap in our gift bags to bid on ….more crap! A tissue box cover my mother had forever that they don’t make tissue boxes to fit anymore. Besides which, it was dirty and starting to fall apart. But somebody bid on it. The grand prize, at least according to my brother, the auctioneer, was a nearly full box of double stick Velcro. My dad Velcroed everything down. The phone, the phone book, the bag on the arm of his wheelchair, and heaven knows what else.

My auction strategy was to bid everything I didn’t want on a couple of items that were flat, and would be easy to fly home. The auction itself was hilarious, with people bidding outrageous amounts to gain what little there was in the auction that was worthwhile. Half the time those of us not bidding were laughing our asses off. Of course, many of the items had stories attached, and the stories were hilarious, too. I actually had a good time at my dad’s funeral. But don’t tell anyone.

There is more to come. And I promise I will get to all your blogs, but right now, I’m tired and ready to hit the hay. Night-night.


  1. this is remarkable brilliance! so very glad that you were able to enjoy time with your family! definitely a miracle…

    (may try the ‘auction’ process on mom’s house one of these days….)

  2. hey that’s a pretty cool idea – and it’s even cooler that it worked without any dramas

  3. Marvelous!

  4. What a fantastic idea! It sounds like so much fun, I almost with I could have been there as a fly on the wall. I agree, whether or not the Catholic church bestows it upon him, your father has already attained sainthood.

    As I was long ago excommunicated from my miserable excuse for a family in Ohio, a scenario such as the one you have so vividly described is something I will never experience, so your story has especial significance for me. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. That is such a great idea and really a terrific way to keep things fair and remember your dad at the same time.

  6. I’m so glad that your families grief held you together and your siblings found a way to make that happen. It is odd how grief can bring people together–hold you close to each others’ hearts with soft ribbons.

    I remember one rare day in which I kept my kids home from school so we could be with each other at an extremely sad time. By the end, we had cried and laughed so hard, that my oldest looked at me that night and said, “even though there was bad, this was one of the best days of my life.” I’m so glad that your families grief held you together and your siblings found a way to make that happen.

  7. That auction sounds inspired. At least some of your sibs must have as keen/offkilter a sense of humor as you do. 🙂
    Glad you’re back, I was starting to worry that the Spanish Inquisition had got you or something.

  8. All this talk about crap and yet you still ate mass quantities of sausage? (*shudder*)

    At least there were healthy bladders all around, thanks to the cranberry juice.

    Loved the line about velcro.

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