This one has a lot of context that you would have no way of knowing, so here’s what you might want to know to give it some context.

1. When my uncle passed, I was informed by a text message that read, as follows: “uncle larry dead”.  That is more or less a direct quote.  We did expect it, so it’s not that the text surprised me, but it would have been nice to get a phone call, or, at least proper punctuation.

2. My family has a history with the misspelling of our last name (obviously, my last name is not actually ‘Stronger’. I do hope you all realize that. 🙂 ). We had some illiterate hillbillies in the mix up to even just two generations back, and so it got spelled, and respelled, and corrected and uncorrected, to the point that even now, we have at least two different spellings circulating (though no more illiteracy to my knowledge), depending on where in the country that part of the family has migrated to. So, in our family history, there has been a misspelled headstone or two.

I would be able to pin this down perfectly, if I wasn’t so bad with dates, but I think it would have to have been around 2010(ish).


Text message condolences tell the story of my life.
If you don’t want to drown, stop drinking alone.

You’ve seen the inside of so many hospitals
when the doctors ripped you open 
I bet they called you by your first name.

I hope they don’t spell it wrong on your grave.

The only memories I have left of you
are the drum set you had in the spare bedroom,
your allergy to dogs,
and that Christmas’s twelve-string guitar.

Now that you’re gone,
I can’t seem to gather enough information to picture
your laughing face.

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