No, Thank You, Fortune Cookie, I've Had Enough

This morning, I got up at 8, pulled myself together as quickly as possible, and went to a (Hindu) funeral service for a family friend--having found out about it the night before. Hadn't seen him in a while; he was a longtime friend (30+ years) of My Maiden Aunt, who hadn't heard from him in a while, either.
Turns out he had a really aggressive form of cancer and kept the news pretty much quiet. It was tough watching his mom cry but it was kind of a nice thing to meet her after having heard stories about her and his nieces since I was a kid. I shared some stories about him with them--like how he dressed up as Santa Claus at the family Christmas parties my parents hosted in the '80s. Which is hilarious to think of because he was a tall dark Indian dude. (I promised his one niece I'd find our photos and copy them for her.)

He was a very, very smart person, but also very personable and always attentive to my siblings, cousins, and me. It was really gratifying to be "myself" as a teenager with him, and say things to him that I wanted to tell somebody in hopes they'd understand and appreciate it. Like when R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People" came out, and I told him the song cracked me up.

"Yeah, it's a great parody, isn't it?" he replied, and I just thought, YES. He gets it, too.

The prayers in the service (I was following the translation while the family chanted) were interesting in that so many praised God and asked God for graces, all the qualities one would need to bear grief well (one addressed God as "Remover of pain") and live a good life to prepare for the afterlife.
I always find it humbling to praise and thank God in the face of grief and questions about why bad things have to happen. I see it in my own faith, and then to see it in Hindu prayer made me feel more a part of what was going on, even if I didn't know how to pronounce everything.

Also, I caught up with my aunt a bit (in small doses she is manageable). She asked about The Cat, and in a way it was helpful to tell her--she had some recommendations for supplements to try to give The Cat. It also distracted her from asking me if I was seeing anybody.

After that, I was a bit wiped, and I went home to regroup and rearrange my former plans for the weekend. Actually, stopped at my parents' and picked up the replacement car stereo I bought from eBay (need to see if the whiz kid mechanic can install it). Then I had tried to go pick up my dry cleaning and get a soda at the Wawa in the same little shopping center, but the lot was completely packed (at 1:30 in the afternoon!).

Got a soda somewhere else, then went home and took a nap--as did The Cat--and worked up the energy to go back out for the dry cleaning and pick up cat food and groceries.

Maybe it was providential that I had not been able to park at the dry cleaners' earlier. As I was walking back to my car with my dry cleaning, the car next to me--which was full of teenage boys--was in the middle of backing out when a grandma blew through the stop sign and zipped by the back of their car without even taking notice (or maybe not caring) that their car was in reverse and partway out of its parking space. Fortunately, the boys' car windows were down and I called out, "Wait! That lady's not even seeing you." The driver stopped. Then the boys all thanked me, and I said in my Maiden Aunt voice with a smile, "You're welcome--now, you drive safely, guys."

At the little grocery store, the teen cashiers were watching the time to make sure they didn't miss the Rapture. I checked out at 6:05 p.m. Left behind to take home my groceries, I guess. Got home, let The Cat fuss at me and check out my dinner (sesame noodles and orange beef), and ate my dinner.

Reloaded the dishwasher and did the hand-washables so the kitchen sink was clear to do the dreaded litterbox cleaning. Hauled out all the trash post-litterbox-cleaning.

What did my fortune cookie say?

"It is up to you to create your own adventures today!"

Really, fortune cookie???

For my final adventures today, I will have some sorbet for dessert, change the sheets on my bed, take a bath, say my novena prayers, and crash.


Rob said…
And I was content to just water the garden. Geez. Sorry about your friend.
Red Stethoscope said…
Sorry about your friend. You had a beautiful take on the ceremony.
Kate P said…
Rob--thank you. He was really a great guy. They held kind of this funky wake downtown where he did trivia on a team. Neat to meet all those people and hear stories.

R.S.--Thank you. And I will definitely take that as a big compliment coming from you.

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