While there’s something undeniably amusing about an 80-year-old sweet, gentle lady letting loose with a string of expletives, it was a symptom of something unfunny — the decline of her health, her cognitive abilities, her will — her self.
After my mother’s funeral and, perhaps more urgently, with the onset of my 50s, I’ve thought about my own sendoff, and my thinking includes Notre Dame. I’m hardly alone and I have wondered how Domers include ND in their final bow.
Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway won a bet that he could create a novel in six words by writing the following on a napkin: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Those six words suggest a tragic story of loss, with perhaps a bitter attempt to forget. My wife and I have unworn baby shoes that tell a different story.
Commencement at Notre Dame. Pomp. Circumstance. And a little tension, because the speaker was somewhat controversial. But this wasn’t four years ago with President Obama — it was 30 years ago, the commencement of my graduating class.
Flipping through channels not long ago, I came upon a PBS pledge drive playing one of those aging-rock-star concerts the network uses to cater to baby boomers. It was a little startling that this time the star was Bruce Springsteen. I still struggle with the idea that Big Bird had conferred Old Fogy status on the Boss.…