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The Girl At My Father’s Funeral

The one thing you can’t control is other people.

Bev Potter
4 min readMar 8, 2023

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Photo by Mayron Oliveira on Unsplash

At one point, I was really into caves. I convinced my parents that we should drive south to Kentucky to visit Mammoth Cave, and then hit Ruby Falls in Tennessee and whatever other large holes in the ground we came across.

Now, this was when I was young. I rode roller coasters back then, and drove too fast, and had no problem with going under the ground and squeezing through rock formations with names like Fat Man’s Lament. All things that now seem completely insane.

So, we’re however many feet under the surface of the earth, and our group has gathered obediently on one shore of a large underground lake while the tour guide prepares to deliver a speech from a lectern that’s been placed on the other side.

The only problem is that someone from the group has decided that they are going to deliver a speech from the lectern, and they won’t budge.

As a teenager, I thought this was both wonderful and horrifying. I was mortified that this was happening, but thrilled because it defied all norms of behavior. People could just do whatever they wanted to do?

I didn’t know anything about mental illness back then or how, yes, some people just did whatever they wanted to do, whenever they wanted to do it.

While the tour guide spoke to his usurper, a caregiver finally stepped up and ushered the individual away and everything went back to normal. Or as normal as it could be several hundred feet under the ground.

That was nothing compared to my dad’s funeral.

My dad was a worker. He always had at least three jobs — Ford Motor Company, farming, and horse training. So when he finally retired from Ford, he had to find something else to do to stay busy.

Somehow or other, he became a security guard at the hospital.

Now, a hospital is not a particularly safe place to be: not for the patients, and not for the employees. Hospitals are where the drugs are. I remember one story about my dad chasing a guy…

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Bev Potter

Legal secretary by day, insomniac by night. Ally. BA, MA. Humor, pop culture, and things that make you think. My weekly-ish newsletter is bevpotter.substack.com