Dinner and a Funeral

Just when you think the year couldn’t start out any worse, someone dies.

I went to the fertility doctor on January 2nd and was told that the only way I’d ever have a child was if I underwent in vitro fertilization and used donor eggs.  The worst part was when the doctor told me that it would cost around $20,000, which I don’t have.  So I had to abruptly give up my dream of having a child.

Of course adoption was briefly discussed as an option, but at this point I’m not sure I even want a child any more.  Teacher would be willing to go that route if I wanted to, but even adoption can be expensive and be a very long process.

That was not a great way to start the year.

I could have gotten over that relatively easily and moved on with my life, but then things got worse.  The following Monday, my mom called me at work & left me a voice mail message.  My grandfather had passed away earlier that morning.  It wasn’t completely unexpected, but then again, it was.  We knew he was not doing well, but I had no idea it was that bad.

You may remember my post about him that I wrote entitled “Grandpa got run over by a gold-digger.”  I loved my Paw Paw very much, but he did a very stupid thing when he married that woman.  She did turn out to be a gold-digger.  Even worse she turned out to be an evil bitch, or as my mother called her, “the devil.”

I drove to Alabama the day of the funeral.  My sister, cousin, nephew, and I rode together and went in together.  We attempted to go through the line and see Paw Paw one last time, but alas the devil woman was standing there beside the casket.  So we ended up walking away before we even got all the way up to her and the casket.  Neither my sister nor I wanted to have a confrontation with her or her daughter, so we thought it best that we move along.

The rest of the family didn’t arrive until just before the funeral started.  Our side of the family was ushered in first.  About twenty minutes later her side was ushered in and seated.  The aisle may as well have been the grand canyon.  We didn’t look over at them, and they didn’t look over at us.  It was possibly one of the most uncomfortable situations I’ve ever been in.

The funeral service itself was strange and oddly impersonal.  No one really talked about my grandfather’s life before his second marriage.  In fact, they really didn’t talk about his life much at all other than what a great businessman he had been.  I thought they would have at least asked my dad to say a few words, but they didn’t.  The only speakers were my grandfather’s business partner and the pastor of the church that my grandfather had attended a few times in recent years.  They didn’t talk about his childhood, his service in the military, his life with his wife of nearly fifty years, or his children.  It was even more depressing than a funeral normally would be.

Once the service was over, everyone headed outside to their cars to get in line for the procession to the cemetery.  My family had decided that they were not going to attend the graveside service, and instead we were going to go have a late lunch.  This was mainly to avoid being close to the devil woman and her family.  Since weddings and funerals are the only times that we are all together in one place these days, lunch seemed like a good idea.

All 20+ of us were sitting at this long table and the waitress comes up to ask if we needed anything.  She then says that we all look really nice and asked what the occasion was.  My sister, sitting beside me in the middle of the long table, looks up at the girl and says, “See that guy sitting at the end of the table?  He just got out of prison today…and it’s his birthday.”  All of us within earshot about choke on our food trying not to laugh. The poor girl gets wide-eyed and says in a surprised tone, “Oh.”   We all giggle.

Then my uncle, the man at the end of the table, looks up and says, “What? Are y’all talking about me?”  My sister looks at him and says, “Yes, we’re just so glad to have you home.”  He replies, “Oh, OK.  Thanks.”  We all bust out laughing.

texaspeanutsNot wanting to keep the poor girl standing there any longer thinking that we are all insane, my aunt speaks up and says, “We actually just came from a funeral.  Our father died.”  The girl looked relieved and then offered her condolences.  We told her not to pay us any mind because we’re all a little crazy.

We tipped her very well.  Maybe she has a blog somewhere and wrote about the crazy day she had serving a bunch of nuts to a bunch of grieving nuts that just got out of jail.

Paw Paw would have been proud of us for just being together and being able to laugh and reminisce.  He was a man with a great sense of humor and a great big kind heart.  He will be greatly missed, whether the devil woman likes it or not.

Oh, and one last thing.  Before he passed away, he asked my sister what she thought Maw Maw would say when she saw him in Heaven.  He said, “I think she’s gonna tell me what an idiot I was for marrying “devil woman.”  My sister agreed with him and they laughed.  Personally I think my grandmother didn’t say anything.  I think she just slapped him and then gave him a big hug and a kiss. 🙂

Happy humping!

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6 thoughts on “Dinner and a Funeral

  1. I’m glad you had each other to lean on and find moments of joy in. I pray that the rest of the year (and life as a whole) bestows upon you more love and joyous moments worth living for, and writing about.

    Much love & respect,
    Stephen Quammie

  2. My goodness, families can be a mess. I had the good fortune to be born into a magnificent family of very loving people that, for the most part, all get along, but I’ve seen plenty of the other side of things in other people’s families when somebody marries or remarries.
    Sorry to hear about your loss.

  3. I’m sorry for your loss. I had two wonderful, but very different, grandfathers, and decades later I miss both of them for different reasons. One was more loving, the other, more of a fundamentalist baptist control freak, but giving in his own way. Without both of them I probably would never have made it thru university.

    I’m sorry for your multi-faccetted loss. ❤

  4. …and your apparent family disfunctionality is no surprise, its very, very common. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Love those who love you & show it by kind words, deeds, actions. I used to think my family was perfect but as I gained experiences thru other families I learned that we are just as f*cked up as everybody else !

  5. Pingback: Loving you is killing me: He said, She said | Confessions of a Preacher's Daughter

  6. Pingback: Dear Mom, please stop praying for me. | Confessions of a Preacher's Daughter

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