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I say it's my birthday - KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
kradical
kradical
I say it's my birthday
And what a birthday it was................

Any day that starts with me getting up at 6.45am is -- er, not a good one. Adding a funeral to it doesn't really improve it.

Still, the funeral was -- well, if Gramma had been able to choose her funeral, today is pretty much her ideal of it. Most of her family was there, including all nine of her brothers and sisters, and all four of her children, and six out of her nine grandchildren (the two in Florida and the one in South Carolina couldn't arrange it, sadly, so she only got the three in New York, the one in Denver, the one in Philadelphia, and the one local to her in western Pennsylvania). Many people came for the viewing Sunday and lots of family were present for the funeral Monday morning. It was at the church that had been her church growing up, the church she got married in, and the church that she went to every week from when she moved back to Pennsylvania in 1977 until she was put in the assisted living place in 2010.

At the end, we went up to the cemetery and put her casket in the grave right next to Nana's. My grandfather is buried in a veterans' cemetery in Long Island, but it makes more sense for Gramma to be buried next to her mother. (If nothing else, she lived with Nana a lot more than she lived with Grandpa....)

I got to provide a moment of unintended comedy before the funeral. Immediate family was at the funeral home for a final bit and convocation before taking the casket to the church. As the priest was talking, something fell out of my pocket. I bent down to pick it up, but I forgot that I was standing in front of a set of windchimes that were a gift to my aunt Monica (Gramma's youngest, who spent the last decade taking care of her as dementia and age claimed her). The act of bending over caused my butt to hit the chimes, which went off loudly. I managed to get them under control and get the item off the floor, but Jesus.....

To make matters worse, my cousin Laura is trying desperately not to giggle while the priest is laying our grandmother to rest. *sigh*

It was a typical ludicrous moment. We always seem to have one of those. Or more. And hey, I could just hear Gramma making a "tch" noise and saying, "Oh, Keith......"

The best part of the day was the lunch afterward, and not just because I was hungry. The one good thing about Gramma's death was the opportunity to see relatives I hadn't seen in far too long. We cross paths here and there on Facebook, but this was an opportunity to actually talk to a bunch of my great aunts and uncles, my cousins, my second cousins, my aunts and uncles, and various other folks.

Among other things, I learned that my second cousin Billy's son thinks I'm the best thing ever because I wrote a couple of Spider-Man novels. I need to get him a copy of the Thor book, and I need to eventually meet the kid (we missed each other at the wake, and he didn't come to the funeral, which would be a bit much for a seven-year-old).

The last thing we did before hitting the road was take a picture. See, back in 2000, a picture was taken at my parents' house of me and my twin uncles, Fred and Nat. Here it is:



My father called this picture "Father, Son, and Holy Shit."

Wrenn decided that we needed to have an update of "Father, Son, and Holy Shit," as the original is now 16 years old. So right before we hit the road to head home, Wrenn took an update:



In both pictures, that's Fred on the left, me in the middle, and Nat on the right.

Anyhow, I'm home now. I have my birthday lunch with my parents tomorrow, and then Wednesday, Wrenn and I head to Key West, where we'll be vacationing with Meredith and Anneliese. YAY!

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: "Mambo Swing" by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

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