Then she wept and the sound killed me, cracking with the thunder, but so much smaller.
Such is the stuff of Carol Ann Reid. I think it is fitting that she drove through a fierce thunderstorm.
Her Daddio, one George Reid, could appear to anyone like a fierce thunderstorm with his booming voice and his thick Scottish brogue. But he was really a soft Scottish toffee, a bold lover in love with the lovely Nan, with whom he was about to celebrate their 59th anniversary.
When I was a kid he was a daunting figure. Always kind and sweet, but with a boom of a voice that I laid in wait to hear lest I should act out. But it never came, this reprimand, however deserved. It came in the sound of the pipes, which he played with such skill and pride and passion that it breaks my heart that I did not realize the scope of it then. It was simply to me, a big big sound from a big big man. I would sit in awe with my best friend, his daughter Carol Ann at my side, listening to her Dad.
He would play and we would listen. Then he would smile and we would melt in his love.
He lived to love, and boy did he hit the jackpot. Nan, his loving devoted wife, Carol Ann, first born and the heart of my heart, Heather, Kirk, Craig, and Wendy. How I would love to travel back there and live those innocent memories.
I am heartbroken for you all tonight. Each child, grandchild, and great-grandchild. George Reid has left us. And we are taking notice.
Barbara: I am so sorry for your loss, Deb, for your dear friend Carol Ann’s loss, for the loss borne by her entire family, and for the loss of another great man.
It’s funny this business of so many souls and so little time to know them all.
I often read those tributes in the paper to a stranger’s life lived––I don’t know why I read them exactly, I’m not morbid. But of course reading them leaves me with a profound sense of sorrow. It suddenly occurs to me that this (possibly morbid) urge comes from the unsettling sense of not knowing them. As if I ought to have known them. As if it was some mean hiccup in the fabric of the universe that prevented me from knowing them, and not a simple logistical reality.
It feels patently unfair that we can’t know them all. It feels not right somehow.
It must be that ancient tie we have to one another through our tribal roots. That long-ago ancestor deep within my soul wants to rear up and don the primitive mourning garb and ululate in unison with all of you. Another of our friends, of our tribe (and we are one tribe), has passed away.