While we had some time waiting at the funeral home, I got the uncle to explain a little about how everyone is related because I have no clue who anyone is. Turns out that he is the husband of the sister of my father's birth mother. My father's birth mother died a few years after he was born so my father and his brother (my uncle) were sent to live in Austin with relatives (my grandparents) and their last names were changed to make life easier on everyone involved. So I have an entire big ass family that I really didn't know I had including uncles, aunts and cousins spread all over the Gulf Coast and California (Joy! More people to annoy the shit out of me! [God, I need that irony mark}). So my great aunt and uncle took me into their home, showed me some pictures, and generally entertained me for a while, even making dinner. My uncle and aunts (one my father's sister, the other my uncle's wife [we didn't talk too much and she doesn't really come up again so I will set her aside for the moment]) made it up from San Antonio around dinner time.
It had been over 20 years since I had seen my uncle. He was a lot shorter than I remember him being. My aunt was inconsolable. She had wanted to come up several times over the last week but didn't for whatever reasons and now she felt bad because my father was gone. She questioned the arrangements and we explained them to her. She wasn't happy because she wanted to see the body but the hospital wouldn't let her (it was in no shape for that), the funeral home couldn't let her (since they didn't have it) and nothing could be done without my say so anyway being his closest living relative and all. We ate, we talked and after a while, I got back on the road to see my own wife and daughter. when I got home I called my mother and let her know what happened. This is about the time I figure out that she has always known who all these people are and just never told me about any of them.
So, 5AM this morning rolls around and I get a call from my mother. She has my aunt on the house line and me on her cell because my aunt wants to ask me some questions. I don't ask why my aunt couldn't call me herself or why this couldn't wait until the sun had come up. My aunt wanted some information that she didn't ask me yesterday so we played a game of Telephone on the telephones. At 9AM, I got a call from the funeral home. My aunt called to inform them that someone else would be picking up the body for services and whatnot and wanted to know if that was my wish or not since it's my decision. I told them I would get back to them called her. She has decided that she wants a service and that "her brother and my father deserve better than just being dumped in a hole". I reminded her that "that is neither her brother nor my father, merely the shell he used to inhabit" and that this energy might be better suited to acquiring him a headstone and/or arranging a wake or memorial for later. Besides, who's going to pay for all this? She says she will. "How?" I asked. She had no details but she said it will get paid for. Alright. If that's what she wants to do, more power to her. I'll OK anything she wants to do, but the cost is her problem.
I can't help but wonder where all this planning and energy was early yesterday or even last week when there was only a 50/50 chance of him surviving. And now that the decision has fallen to me, the person who least wanted it, and has been made, people want to come in and change it. The needs of the living outweigh the needs of the dead. And that works both ways. Alright. So here is my decision because it still is my decision: if she can gets the body picked up and taken care of today, fine. We'll be scrambling to get to a service but we'll do that if required. But if it is not taken care of by tomorrow morning 8AM, then the original plan will go back into action and that will be that. And if people are mad at me? Let them be. I can handle people I see or speak to less than once a decade being angry at me. I came in and did what needed to be done when nobody else did.If they don't like the results, they should have stepped up to the mic earlier.
And, for now, that is all I have to say about that.
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