Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Prize and a Funeral

Thanks to String Too Short to Tie for the "Friendly Blogger Award" yesterday! I'm passing it to all of my friends at Fellowship of the Traveling Smarty Pants for their compassion, understanding, and sweetness. Yeah, watch them make a mess of it and force Vanilla to snatch this right back. I'm anxious to see who they each pass it to. I'll bet they throw it amongst themselves, hot potato style. Warning: there will be sass and snark involved, which is (usually) done in friendship.

*****

We'll be attending a funeral next week - the sweet Grandma of my future daughter-in-law. Too many of these, lately (funerals, not daughter-in-laws), but I've come to accept them as one of the best parts of life. Particularly if life ends in little suffering. Being with the Lord for eternity is how it's supposed to end.

But it certainly gives me pause to ask God once again about the algorithm He uses for His timing.

Death doesn't scare me nearly as much as life does sometimes. But I'm working on that. Those Respectable Sins continue to haunt me.

Last week at a funeral home, I told my dear friend who is the Funeral Director that I was coming for a "two-fer" since both visitations I was attending were at the same place. He accused me of coming for the dinner.

"Really, there's food downstairs???"

One visitation had lots of family and friends; the other, not so much. One was mellow and quiet; the other was a little more upbeat and life-giving. It really is OK to laugh and chatter at a visitation. I hope people don't mope around at mine. I want them to laugh until they snort ( you know who you are). I'm going on record to say (again) please return me to ashes when I'm gone.

Otherwise someone will say "She's wearing that again???" or "She looks better dead."

Hopefully someone will drag out those wedding pictures for display, and people will have their last memory of me at 110 lb. with some great music playing in the background. It's all picked out, and Ron Burgundy often reminds me that "people aren't going to want to hang around that long." You will if there's food.

This takes me back to my own Grandmother's funeral.

My kids were pretty little, and it was only the second funeral they had ever attended. My youngest boy (the one who was banned from the church nursery when he was 2) was being his typical self. Squirmy, restless, ricocheting off walls. He's the kid who always got the chipped plate at family dinners, because we knew if it wasn't chipped or broken, it would be when he was done. When the kids played "house," he thought it was neat he got to be the family dog. They just wanted to tie him up. Anything that was destroyed or lost in the house was bound to get blamed on Luke.

He was that kid.

At the cemetary after Grandma's funeral, my oldest, the "Alex P. Keaton" of the bunch, whispers to me "I'm going to go tell Grandma how sorry I am that Great-Grandma died." Oh, how sweet.

Yeah, he was that kid.

"Take your little brother with you," I said, hoping to distract him a bit from his hooliganisms.

"Where we goin'?" he hollers (the kid never grew an "inside" voice).

"Go with your brother and tell Grandma how sorry you are that Great Grandma died."

"Well, I didn't do it!!"

Yeah, we knew that. But apparently you thought you'd get blamed.

Sweet boy. He called me last night. LYF.

And Grandma "I" - rest in peace. You loved so, and you are so loved!

Tea today: Green ginseng with citrus

9 comments:

vanilla said...

Fantastic post. I, too, want there to be laughter and fun at my visitation [wake, calling, whatever it's called wherever you are]; but I hope not because the participants are glad I'm gone. Oh, those guys won't come anyway, unless they want to peek in and see if I'm truly gone. [How will they know? Closed casket, please.]

Beth in NC said...

I'm sorry about the loss (but on a light note, you are too funny). Your son, "I didn't do it" -- ha.

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

Sorry to hear about the funeral. That is no fun at all. But I did chuckle at your son!

katdish said...

Oh man...

"Well, I didn't do it!" That is all kinds of funny. Did you laugh then, or is it one of those "someday this will be funny" moments?

I was talking to my son today and he said (out of the blue), "Promise me that I'll never have to go to a viewing ever again." I reminded him that he need not be freaked out by the person in the casket because they were no longer there, they have moved on. We are there to support the person's family and friends. A few years ago, we were in NM attending Ron's uncle's funeral. It was like 100 degrees outside, Rachel was little bitty, so I decided to stay in the car w/the kids while Ron and his parents attended the short, graveside ceremony. Before everyone got out of the car, Cameron says, "I'm really gonna miss that guy." "What guy?" Ron asked. "The guy under that big, green blanket." (They had covered the casket temporarily w/astro-turf.)

Yeah...that apple didn't fall far from the tree.

katdish said...

Oh, wait...

I forgot to tell you what he said when we were pulling into the cemetary (where they were about to bury my father-in-law's brother, said FIL riding with us):

"Hey! What are we doing at this boneyard?!"

As a rule, I don't believe in curses, but the one where my mom said, "I hope you have kids just like you someday"? I think that one is gold.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

@katdish - what goes around comes around, huh? I can't wait to read your son's blog. When's he going to start?

Billy Coffey said...

Wow, what a great post.

So sorry for your future daughter-in-law's loss. But as sad as that might be, you still had me laughing through the rest.

Boys are so much fun. They make you bury your head in your hands sometimes, but it's always worth it.

Helen said...

I was an 18 year old adult when I pulled this gaffe.
We all put our feet in our mouths at some point. Since I have big, swollen feet, this often gets ugly.

Nick the Geek said...

It does seem like a lot of funerals lately. The past month has had one a week for me. I don't think I did it. Didn't even meet some of the people. Still, the funeral home caught fire late last week and now I'm wondering if someone did it. Not me though. I wouldn't do that. I wouldn't even joke about it.

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