When my grandparents lived with my family, every other branch of the clan would get together in our town for a get together. One of the biggest rituals of which was going out to dinner, usually at Red Lobster. When my grandpa died in February of 1992, the assembled family went out to eat the night before his funeral. I have not forgotten that night.
When my grandpa died in February of 1992, the assembled family went out to eat the night before his funeral. I have not forgotten that night.
For some reason, Red Lobster was not picked as the place to eat. Instead, we went to a place known as Q Cumbers, a restaurant located on France Avenue in Edina, Minnesota.
The picture is of how it looks today. While the surrounding shops in the mall it is located in have changed since 1992, the exterior of Q Cumbers has not.
Something was nagging at me about the upcoming funeral that night which dulled my appetite as it burned in my belly all throughout the meal, which must have been forgettable because I can’t remember for sure what I had to eat. A noodle dish of some kind it might have been. I do remember that I could not have a soda for some reason, which I did not like but my father did nothing to rectify. I had to settle for water.
I only forgot the feeling burning in my gut once, as I walked up to the buffet with an uncle avidly discussing Civil War history with him. Apart from that, I was a pretty subdued camper.
By contrast, all the other kids at the table (including my brother) were having a perfectly normal night out with their families. The youngest daughter of another one of my uncles even told him “Get a life” during some father-daughter banter between them.
“See you mañana,” he said to me outside when dinner was finished.
The burning feeling flared up in me as he walked off. Suddenly, I did not want to see him or anybody else tomorrow, much less go to grandpa’s funeral. I kept my mouth shut about it, though. Even as it grew to the point that when I was back home and in bed, I did not even want to fall asleep I dreaded the next day so. Alas, I had to take two Actifed that night so I soon fell into a deep slumber. Unaware that the burning feeling was a presentiment warning me that tomorrow would be one of the most disillusioning and painful days of my life because certain people at that dinner would say and do things at that funeral which would badly hurt my feelings. Unintentionally, to be sure, but still hurt them. What those words and actions were are immaterial to this bit of memoir; the fact that something in my soul detected that oncoming hurt in advance that night at Q Cumbers is.