Families are Like Fudge... Mostly Sweet With a Few Nuts.
My grandmother’s funeral was lovely and quite well attended which, considering the family, comes as no surprise. My grandmother, good Catholic that she was, took to heart the biblical decree to “Go forth and multiply”. She had ten children, thirty grandchildren, fifty great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren, only a handful of whom were unable to attend the services. The house, as they say, was packed.
My mother and my aunts took great pains in planning the service; they debated each detail until it was perfect and it showed. The mortician, inspired by their dedication or terrified to fail them, did an outstanding job; my grandmother was stunning. Even the florists said they had never seen such a beautiful body and, they have seen a lot of bodies so I respect their opinion. Also, I am sooo glad I didn't go into the floral business.
Following the funeral, the family hosted a dinner at the Fellowship Hall, and then everyone congregated at my parent’s house where they drank wine and reminisced until well into the night. It was nice to catch up with relations that I have not seen in quite some time and my children were thrilled to practice their newly-learned sign language skills on my two deaf cousins who, god bless them, were patient as the saints considering the fact that my son doesn’t spell terribly well.
Of course, as with any large gathering, there were some tense moments; a few small arguments, a couple of skeletons accidentally let out of the closet and a few pranks that went to far, not to mention a rather unpleasant encounter between the Man-Cub and the girlfriend of one of my cousins.
The woman’s daughter had misplaced her shoes and, when it was time to leave, they were nowhere to be found. Following an extensive search and a rather intense grilling of the other children present, she resorted to screaming obscenities at the closest available child, a child who had absolutely no idea what the tirade was even about because he had been playing an adult-supervised game in another room (unlike some people’s children, ahem, trashy girlfriend, who were leaping over furniture, hiding from each other in the guest room shower, eating brownies on the carpeting and stealing candy from my father’s office, without so much as one reprimand from their mother).
I missed the drama because I was in another part of the house but, luckily, the wife of one of my other cousins was present and she ripped the trashy girlfriend a new poop portal in the Cub’s defense. She also assured the Cub that it was perfectly all right to dislike the trashy girlfriend since she is so NOT PART OF THE FAMILY.
Especially coming from a woman who, when she became part of the family twenty-eight years ago, was regarded with some dubiousness by my grandmother simply because she was, gasp....a mormon!
She totally went to the wall for my son and, as far as I am concerned, Mormons rock the smack-down. Also, she could not be more a part of our family if she had been soaked in Holy Catholic water till she was a prune.
But I knew that twenty-eight years ago.
Despite the unpleasantness, I can say that we honored my grandmother’s memory well. She would have enjoyed the funeral mass and the lively conversations, the bawdy jokes and the retelling of old stories. She might even have rattled some skeleton bones of her own because, differences aside, we are the family she built and she was proud of us, flaws and all.
Now, I must pack for my next journey, Portland. I will spend five days working my fingers to the bone for my employers. If I am lucky, I might get a few hours for sightseeing.
Ha! Who am I kidding? My sister is driving up (down?) from Seattle and, even though we just saw each other yesterday; we are totally looking forward to spending some quality time together.
At Sephora, squee!
So, the next time you read this, I will be posting from the City of Roses.