Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Day After

Grandma's funeral was yesterday.

Saw Uncle Doug for the first time in donkey's years. He is unrecognizable, thin, bald. Had kidney stones which accounts for the weight loss. Bald, well, it's just inevitable. Life hasn't been that easy on him, what with the easy availability of all manner of recreational substances when he was growing up in the 70's and early 80's. I imagine that sort of thing is still easily available but I wouldn't really know; I'm far too dull and lazy to engage in such things.

The service was nice I suppose, in that it was your basic somewhat religious thing, as Grandma was a Christian Scientist (though not the kind who wouldn't see a doctor or take medicine, which prolonged her life at least ten years if not more). It was at this memorial place here in town that hangs over the river, very old, very interesting.

Her body was in an open casket which I could not bring myself to go look at, having seen one open casket and having subsequently told myself that I would not do so again. People don't look the same after they are dead. I wanted to remember her as she was living, not as her body looked after she had left it behind. They closed it as they began the service.

The Christian Science reader (is that what they call their ministers?) blathered on a while which was fine, and a soprano (or some suchlike shrill voiced woman) sang some of Grandma's favorite hymns, and then people spoke -- my mother, my Uncle Doug, and then the Tupperware lady! From the mall that Grandma made Grandpa drive her to every day for exercise and socialization. She was very sweet and said such nice things... I just wanted to go up there and hug her. I may yet go to the mall and find her and take her a photo of Grandma or something and thank her for being there and saying nice things.

And then came time for the Honor Guard to come do the flag ceremony and Taps. We were all sniffly but holding it together up to then, but that threw us over the edge. In particular -- surprisingly -- my brother, who keeps his emotions sewn up tight most of the time so it's all the more shocking when he cries. The last time I remember seeing him cry was when his first son was born in I think 1996, and I only saw that because I was in the room at the time, taking photos.

Then we visited at the reception for a bit and it was time to take the baby home and shovel her into bed for a nap.

My sister-in-law (SIL to those into acronyms) is really very nice but I occasionally wish to thump her. She usually tells the baby, "You're so spoiled!" at least once per visit, not that the baby speaks English as of yet but still, and also laughs at us and calls us New Parents. I think this is because we had some trouble getting Delia to sleep during the day, and floundered a bit and did, in fact, act like New Parents because that is what we are. But when she says these things to me I try to recall that it took them forever to potty train their kids because she let them walk around in soiled diapers for long periods of time... "They are so absorbent anyway, you don't have to change them right away" which I just can't believe is good for their skin... and my theory (NP as it probably is) is that they got so used to having soiled diapers on it didn't matter to them to feel clean at all.

Plus the last one wasn't weaned until he was over three years old. I'm sure that La Leche League would string me up and label me "Blasphemer" for it, but I don't see the value in that. What finally convinced her to cut him off was that they were watching "Who Killed Roger Rabbit" on DVD and the first time Jessica Rabbit made an appearance, with her massive animated pontoons, Seamus looked at her and pointed and yelled, "Num nums!" Hilarious, but nonetheless... it was time.

Well, baby should be waking up shortly and I need to start some sort of difficult or time-consuming task in order to fulfill her fondest wish which is to interrupt me at the worst moment possible. :)

She was an excellently cooperative baby yesterday at the service and everyone agreed that she is gorgeous. I am so proud I could explode, which would be messy, but I know it's just a New Parent thing so I'll shut up now.

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