May

6

Death Be Not Proud… Unless the Dead Earned It

12:14 am · category: Uncategorized

Mr. Webb died yesterday. He was my college roommate’s father. (My college roommate, DeVaun, is 63 years old now; nothing in my life is normal.) I had been at the hospital with DeVaun for most of the afternoon, and we left to go to her house to clean it to prepare for the family that was coming in to visit. In the meantime, Mr. Webb died.

Davis Webb was good to me. He was full of so much information — I guess that happens when you’re 89. He would talk to me for hours about all kinds of things. He was a bird colonel in the Air Force, from which he retired after WWII. He taught secondary school social sciences and farmed. He traveled the country with his late wife and made audio tapes of their journeys and loved to watch COPS. He told people I was his granddaughter for more than 10 years, even though it wasn’t true — and I didn’t mind. He liked to sit at the window and watch the birds flock to his bird feeders, telling me what kind each one was.

Just recently, I started taking my niece, Tayden, to visit Mr. Webb when I was babysitting her; she turned three months old the day he died. Mr. Webb wasn’t able to get out of the house much in the last year, and visitors seldom came. When Tayden and I would show up on his doorstep, he would beam at our presence and coo over her delicate, infant beauty. Tayden is a strangely beautiful baby, with enough hair that it can already be pulled into tiny black pigtails and with skin as spotless and creamy as caramels melted in milk. Mr. Webb would hold her and call her Little Red Wing, his “Indian” name for her.

I will miss Davis Webb.

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