One Day Down, One to Go

That's what my cousin (my great-uncle's younger grandson) said tonight at the end of the viewing. To which I replied, "And one day at a time." The funeral home was crowded, and the line of people coming to pay their respects had formed well before the appointed time of 7 p.m. Uncle D. was laid out in his uniform in a special casket with eagles and flags (the "Veterans' Package," they called it), and all the surrounding flowers were red, white, and blue. The ones my dad ordered to be sent on behalf of my family and the Mexican contingent of our family had red and white carnations, red roses, and blue hydrangeas. My sister and I exchanged many a "Wait, I know I've seen that person before--who is it?" and our parents introduced us to a bunch of people, including a middle school chum of my grandfather. Wow. Around 8 or so, the deacon who was in the Catholic war vets group with my great-uncle read something that wasn't exactly a prayer but it was interesting--something along the lines of when someone who has served our country dies, we repay him by praying for the repose of his soul, but also by carrying out good acts in his honor. Then we prayed an "Our Father" together; IIRC, that was the last lucid prayer Uncle D. prayed when Fr. visited the week before he died.

One thing that cracked us up was that at one point in the evening there was just this chorus of hearing aids going off--you know, that high pitched ring they do sometimes. I'm sure part of it was being in the small space, and so many of his older relatives and friends being in the same hearing-aid wearing boat. But another part of me wonders if he was making his presence known. I always think of my one cousin's funeral, and how not one but two women at the funeral had the top button on the back of their dresses break off. One was his older sister; the other, a longtime friend whom I know he'd had a crush on forever. And that would have been his style. *shrug* Who knows?

Thanks for the offerings of prayers and condolences, gang. (Seraphic, I'll let you know when the meme is up.) It's like Nightfly said: gathering at family events does make you wonder when you'll see each other again, and what the circumstances will be. I'm hoping we go straight on through to the wedding of my cousin, Uncle D.'s only granddaughter. I think we all hope for that.


Mr. Bingley said…
And, as an addition to 'Fly's point, as your relations get older you realize that you now have a finite number of times you'll see them. It's a sobering thought and leads you to value those times all the more.
Lindsay said…
Oh, Kate... I am so sorry to hear about all of this. Rest assured, your great uncle and you and your family are in my prayers. The funeral is always more difficult, but you really do feel a certain sense of calm and peace about everything afterwards, even in the midst of the pain.
WordGirl said…
((((HUG)))) You're in my prayers as well. So sorry for your loss.

Need a homemade Tiramisu? ;-)
Anonymous said…
Sorry for your loss Kate. You and your family are in my prayers. Unfortunately, the whole seeing relatives at weddings and funerals extends to some of my friends. I am so terribly busy with school and such.
nightfly said…
Kate, God bless you and Uncle D. And thanks for his service.

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