Before we get to the central theme of this blog, we here at Martin Oaks would like wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Happy and a SAFE Thanksgiving.
Since Martin Oaks is a crematory, we are quite aware of the fact that deaths in the United States spike on Thanksgiving and remain elevated through the winter months. Turkey Day is an especially dangerous time: because this is the most traveled heavily traveled holiday, car accidents routinely claim record numbers of lives. Referred to as “Black Wednesday,” the night before Thanksgiving is particularly risky – it is one of the busiest nights of the year for bars, so not surprisingly, drunken driving is a prodigious contributor to the problem. It is estimated that some 40% of the related deaths involve alcohol.
Another culprit that leads to elevated death rates is coronary disease: behavioral changes, including increased salt and alcohol consumption, as well as other activities associated with the holidays (touch football, etc.) can exacerbate underlying coronary symptoms.
Unfortunately, we at Martin Oaks have seen the consequences of this season all too many times. Again, please have a safe holiday and please exercise caution during this festive, but hazardous time.
Thanksgiving always sends us back to re-reading two of Truman Capote’s most memorable short stories, The Thanksgiving Visitor and A Christmas Memory. Having been recorded, filmed, broadcast and staged in multi-award winning productions, these two heartwarming stories are a perfect complement to the family holiday season. Seamlessly related, these are companion works that can be read together in one sitting.
What weaves these pieces together is the profile Capote draws of his older cousin, Mrs. Sook Faulk. The plot lines evaporate into a meaningful, bitter-sweet examination of their relationship. Loss and loneliness have always figured into Capote’s writing – more poignantly here, because the events are true, Capote actually lived them when he was a child in Monroeville, Alabama.
The appeal here is not saccharine nor maudlin: they are genuine, raw, heartrending tails that tie neatly into reminiscences holidays generate. If you have ever had a special relationship with a now deceased relative, Capote’s magic packs a haymaker wallop. The last paragraph of A Christmas Memory is as impactful as anything you’re likely to read.
Touchingly, Truman Capote carried this woman in his heart up until the very end of his life. Sook Faulk passed away when Capote was still a young man, but he obviously never forgot her. While he was dying, in a semi-conscious state, he was talking to her. Love really does last forever.
As we mentioned, the stories have been presented in many forms (films, recording, etc.), but nothing surpasses the experience of just sitting down and reading them.
Finally, should you be interested in learning more about Capote and his life, Gerald Clarke has written the authoritative biography, pictured below.
If you have a singular holiday memory with someone who is now deceased, please feel free to share it with us and we will be happy to post it here for everyone to enjoy. Thanksgiving and Christmas offer us a time to remember those who have meant something to us. As Sook said to the young Capote, “I won’t be here forever—you’ll be here long after I’m gone. And as long as you remember me, then we will always be together.”
Please visit our website www.martinoakscemeteryandcrematory.com we are available 24/7, holidays included, call us at (469) 605-7215.