Print Story How'd It Go?
By atreides (Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 02:15:40 PM EST) (all tags)
Well, the funeral was yesterday. "Hilarity" below the proverbial fold...

Yesterday morning, Welsh Girl, the Despoina, the Welsh Parents and I all piled into their car to make the trip down to San Antonio. We drove and talked and all that good stuff. No big deal.

When we got to the funeral home, a little bit of surreality kicked in. The place itself is in a small strip center with it on one end, a church on the other and a bar in the middle. If there had been a small restaurant or grocery store, many people could have lived their entire lives without having to leave that parking lot.

The entire thing was quiet and low-key (not that funerals have been renowned for being high energy affairs). Even my mother (who eventually made it) was quiet. And, of course, there were glitches but nothing major. I suggested to Welsh Girl that she could probably get a job at a funeral home editing their programs because I was assaulted by misspellings and mistakes all over the place. I guess the grieving and the dead don't notice. Since I was neither, I couldn't help it, I guess. It was strange that there were six or eight pastors there from all over the state. A couple, it turned out knew my father but where the others came from? I have no idea. My aunt (the one who organized it) sang at one point and then completely broke down in tears. You ever see a movie where some member in a black church is completely overwhelmed and falls to the ground crying, screaming to God "Oh Lord WHY?!?!?" over and over? Well, that was her. I didn't have the heart to tell her it was because my father treated his body badly in his youth and probably not too much better after. The sermon and other speakers made some direct references to me as my father living on. I managed for the crowd to seem accepting of this, though Welsh Girl mentioned that I visibly rolled my eyes at one specific mention in the service regarding my hair (don't ask). When it was time to move the coffin, apparently the pallbearers listed weren't there so some people attending were drafted. Of course, I moved the big ass box into the hearse. I could give that much.

It rained heavily in San Antonio yesterday. Why is this of note? Because, thanks to flash flooding, it was decided to take a non-standard route to the cemetery. This created problems. First of all, the trip to the grave side took over an hour. Yes, over an hour. 35 miles-ish at the speed of a hearse... Second, we had to drive around SA and come out the other side to get there. We had no fucking clue where the hell we were most of the time. Third, the Despoina exploded about halfway through the trip and we got a half hour of screaming we couldn't do much about. We couldn't change her because we were moving. We couldn't feed her because the bottles were in the trunk. And we couldn't stop and pull out because we had no clue where the hell we were going. Fourth, we were all ready to gnaw our arms off we were so hungry. Not all of us had breakfast and I didn't know that when the service was over at 1130, we'd be in cars until almost one in the PM. Did you know that baby screams resonate with hunger pangs like a tuning fork resonates with a guitar string? I didn't until yesterday.

We finally got there and surreality kicked in again. We turned into the cemetery and it looked as if a flower truck and a Chinese plastics plant had collided and vomited plastic flowers all over the landscape. I thought we had driven into a Twilight Zone episode. Turns out most of the place's residents are hispanic and Day of the Dead visitations bring out a lot of people with a lot of mementos for the dead. Touching, but you should have seen it... Of course, with the rain, they couldn't dig so the final words were said and we was temporarily entombed until the rains abate. But it was finished.

The first order of business was that everyone caravaned over to a nearby convenience store for munchies, bathrooms and gas. That's when people actually started meeting people. Met my two of my father's half sisters (turns out that he has three sisters I didn't even know existed). Got a lot of "you were this high the last time I saw you" from several sources. Heated up water to heat up food for the Despoina. The usual, I guess...

After that we went over to my aunt's church where they made food for everyone. Nice spread but it was so late that we had little time to stay. It was enough, though. I think everyone found the entire thing a little grueling. We ate and talked and eventually we all went our separate ways. But boy was it a grueling day on everyone involved.

Most valuable player goes to Welsh Mom and Dad. Them driving and helping with the Despoina helped a lot. Welsh Girl was definitely a trooper for putting up with my crazy ass (and in some cases completely unknown) family. The Despoina, of course, persevered in her own inimitable style. I of course, learned several valuable things that I can pass on to her when the time comes. And now that it is over, back to my regularly scheduled life.

That is all.

< I want my baby now please | "He's crying." "Then he's living." >
How'd It Go? | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)
I had a friend who by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #1 Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 02:56:21 PM EST
was buried almost 2 hours from where his funeral was located.  I didn't opt to drive to the cemetery.

I could have understood... by atreides (2.00 / 0) #2 Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 03:00:40 PM EST
...if we were talking about some family plot where 15 generations are buried. I'm guessing that it was a less expensive option considering the short notice involved. And it wouldn't have been that bad for us if we had known ahead of time and could make preparations like changing the baby or having her food closer by...

He sails from world to world in a flying tomb, serving gods who eat hope.

[ Parent ]
Next generation takes priority by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #3 Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 03:04:12 PM EST
That's a perfectly reasonable position to be annoyed, even if you had been closer than you were.

[ Parent ]
just caught up with recent devs by rizzo (2.00 / 0) #4 Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 03:07:20 PM EST

When my father died, I felt cheated.  I needed him around to tell me again all the things he tried to tell me when I was younger but wouldn't listen.  I wanted him around to enjoy my successes with me.  I couldn't imagine not having my future kids crawling all over him at holidays.  I needed him to teach me more about how to work with my hands instead of my fingers, or my heart instead of my head.

I can't imagine sincerely not minding losing this, but having never had the expectation of these things in your future, and after the neglects which led you to feel this way, I can only imagine what a relief it must be to be okay with it all now, and simultaneously how helpful it must've been to have seen him alive one more time.  I suspect for you that closure is almost the right word, but whatever it is, I'm glad it all went so well for you.

Ya know, aside from the crying and pooping part. ;-)


If I have learned anything... by atreides (4.00 / 1) #5 Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 03:29:12 PM EST is that there will always been poop.

Thanks for the thought. I don't feel relief or anger or loss. Truth be told, I don't feel anything really. Had he lived, that would have worked in his favor. It's easier to work up from apathy than hatred. The only thing I've felt from all this is annoyance and that is the fault of the living, not the dead. He's gone and that is the way of things. No harm, no foul.

Haven't heard much from you. How are things these days?

He sails from world to world in a flying tomb, serving gods who eat hope.

[ Parent ]
The pooping gets better. by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #6 Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 03:41:04 PM EST
In five years, you'll hardly think of having to help the Despoina with her poops. (You were, of course, talking of more than the Despoina's poops. But without hers to worry about, poops will be less important.)

A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
My Name is Earl

[ Parent ]
It sounds to me like . . . by lm (2.00 / 0) #7 Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 06:22:58 PM EST
. . . given everything that could have gone wrong, it went off pretty smoothly.

It's an odd situation you're in. You've certainly earned my respect for the way you've handled it.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
I feel funny by johnny (4.00 / 1) #8 Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 01:01:44 PM EST
saying that I "enjoyed" reading about the death and funeral of your father, but truly, I did.

Thank you for sharing this with us. Your situation is unusual, your equanimity to be admired, your ability to capture it in words to be envied.

Safe travels.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

How'd It Go? | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)