Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday 55 & Da Count-A Way to Say Goodbye


Meesh? Yuh at home, gyal?

Yes, Dean.

We streamin' the funeral so yuh could check it online. Meh sistuh in NYC couldn't make it down either. I wanted to let you know it workin'.

Oh Dean, Thanks!

Moments later I am watching Nanzo's funeral.
I am again drawn into the embrace of my Trini family.


The news about Nanzo's death was a sad surprise earlier this week. Yesterday I got another surprise when Dean called to tell me I could come to the funeral "virtually." Would I have preferred to be there in person? Certainly. But I never expected the opportunity to be afforded me to see any part of it so I was incredibly grateful. I didn't know it was something they intended to try doing. I even have to count the pouring rain earlier in the day because it made me lazy about going out to do the grocery shopping. If it had been good weather I would have gotten myself in order sooner and it's likely I'd have been standing in a cashier's line when the call from Dean came.

I was even able to contact Diana at school to let her know the site where she could catch the video stream. She missed the first part because she was in class and a bit more because she had a second class. For her second class she was able to explain to her prof that she had lived in Trinidad as a small child and her Trini grandmother's funeral was being streamed. She said the professor was very gracious about excusing her from class for the day so she could see it too. She and I were able to text back and forth so I could confirm who she was seeing in different shots. So I have to count all the technology that made all this possible. When we lived there email wasn't even an option.

I was able to see some of her grandchildren playing Nanzo's favorite hymns on steel pan; children who were so little the last time I saw them, now grown and so composed. I was able to hear her oldest daughter, now a grandmother herself, give an eloquent and loving eulogy which honored her mother in every way. I was able to see the slide presentation her other children put together. When I saw the very picture I had taken so many years ago and posted here just days ago I felt like a little part of me was there with them as they were with me. I'm just so deeply grateful that for that brief period of time so many things came together so well to close a bit of the distance.

A lot of joyous music was shared to celebrate Nanzo, who she was, and the faith she lived. No dirges are allowed, even at a funeral. This particular song has been my favorite for a long time and I smiled when I heard it during the service for Nanzo. (Calypso is under orders to sing it when my time comes.) I wish I could give it to you in the upbeat Trini Calypso style in which it was delivered but I haven't found any examples of that. Instead here's the bluegrass version from O Brother, Where Art Thou. I think Nanzo would approve.


Malicious Intent said...

Interesting video to go with that song. But, lovely song.

I am so glad you got that call and didn't miss out. You needed some closure. Amazing how the internet makes the world such a small place.

Hope it helped you some...


Hootin' Anni said...

It worked out then.

My 55 is posted...Elvis LIVES! Come join me if you can. And as always, scroll down below my Show n Tell Friday.

You'll find it HERE

Hilary said...

That's one of the best uses of internet technology I've ever heard. I'm so glad for you and your daughter to have been able to join your Trini family virtually. That's just amazing.

misticblu said...

and you know that's on my play list :)

G-Man said...

Ha!...One of the greatest movies ever! Excellent version!
We should all be sent out that way, I hope I am.
Excellent 55 AND Da Count Meesh.
Good luck today.....Galen

Cocotte said...

What a wonderful use of technology. Hugs to you, Lime.

snowelf said...

I am so happy for you that you got to be reunited in such a cool way with your Trini-fam!! It's amazing what they can do these days with a little technology. Awesome count.
and hugs to you.


Jazz said...

How great you were able to attend, however virtually. As I listen to the song (one of my favourites from that movie), I can't help but think it's the perfect song for the woman you've described.

VE said...

Good choice on the song version. Now I need to bring out that DVD again...

Desmond Jones said...

Oh my. . .

That is just sweeter than sweet (and I mean that in both senses of the word - 'exceedingly cool' and 'touching').

I'm sorry, I'm a little verklempt here. . .

It's a long time since you've lived in Trinidad. I know you've been back for visits in the meantime, but I'm still impressed that you could be picking out familiar faces in the streamed video. . .


anthonynorth said...

I didn't know this could happen. A wonderful idea.

S said...

Thats a beautiful song for Nanzo.

Wow Lime, I am so happy erm, not sure thats the right word, for you that you got to "be there". What a modern wonderful world we are living in!

S said...

PS OH! I love when they steal the pie in that film and the third guy leaves money on the sill for the pie!

lecram said...

This is a beautiful count, Lime. Yeah, technology... doesn't replace actually being there but certainly provides a means of not being left out.


~Dragonfly~* said...

So cool that you could "be there" and share it with your daughter as well.

As for the "blue grass" rendition... How could Nanzo not appreciate George Clooney giving her tribute?!??!?! :)

Fabulous movie and awesome soundtrack... one of my favorites.

How kind of her family to share such a private moment in such a public forum.


EmBee said...

Modern technology is INDEED an AMAZING thing. Several weeks ago I saw my niece, who lives in California, singing on Youtube.

My little sister and I fell out of touch about 12 or 13 years ago. The last time I saw my niece she was a toddler and I'd only seen a photograph or two. So you can imagine how odd it was to see her living and breathing for the first time online.

Because this situation sort of rocked me to my core, I used it as an opportunity to open a dialog with my sister through letter writing. I wrote her and was thrilled to receive a letter in return. I'm taking it slow but none of this would've happened without that youtube video.

Ananda girl said...

I learned this song as a child this way... but I would love to hear it the Trini way too.

I think its wonderful that we can use our technology to bring people closer this way. Our world grows smaller, but this time, in the right way.

God's peace lime.

Craver Vii said...

Outstanding. I could just imagine the upbeat Trini version.

My wife and I have decided that no sad songs would be played at our funerals, too. She has gone so far as to prohibit anyone from wearing black.

San said...

Sometimes technology feels intrusive in our lives, making them too busy. This is a case of technology at its best--enabling you to be present at this important event.

I am sorry for your loss, Michele, but happy you could be there.

Now I will listen to the song...

San said...

Oh, wow, the music in that movie is so full of soul. I need to watch it again. It's a favorite, especially because of the music.

Dr.John said...

How nice to be able to share such a special time in a 55.

Mine is posted


Anonymous said...

What an absolutely brilliant way to use the technology [have no idea what streaming is but so happy it worked for you.

Fred said...

Hey Lime, not to suck up or anything, but this is one of the blogs I miss the most when I bury my head in the sand.

I hope you had a great summer, and I'm looking forward to reading some of the posts I've missed.

Beach Bum said...

I was able to see some of her grandchildren playing Nanzo's favorite hymns on steel pan; children who were so little the last time I saw them, now grown and so composed.

That is one aspect of funerals that continues to take me back. As much as I try to keep up with extended family and friends seeing them change can really throw me for a loop. My mom had three friends that while unrelated to her became like aunts to me.

After years of not seeing them or their families we came together again at the recent passing's in my family.

It was a shock to see how much those ladies had changed along with their younger children who were in elementary school the last time I saw them with them now having children of their own.

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Jocelyn said...

Well, if that don't beat all. A streamed funeral. I'm learning something new everyday...especially how meaningful online social interactions--even memorials--can be.