Monday, April 29, 2013

Notes on a Funeral

My older sister (USA 1973-1976) is wearing her four miniature medals.  My younger sister (USN 1982-1986) is wearing her two ribbons.  I am wearing a small “USMC-Retired” lapel pin.

Oldest Sister: Why aren’t you wearing your medals?
Me:  I have too many.

The man from the VA begins hoisting the urn with my father’s ashes into the vault.

9 Year Old Nephew:  What’s that?
Oldest Sister:  That’s Granddad.
9 Year Old Nephew (indignantly):  He'd never fit in there!

We are back at Brother #3’s house and several of us are sitting around the table when the youngest great-grandchild, six weeks old, begins loudly wailing from her infant seat in the next room.

Me:  Awww…and she’s been so good up till now.
Niece:  Maybe she just realized we’re all related.

Half a dozen small children have been turfed out of doors to amuse themselves.

Sister (looking out of window):  Is [Nephew A] hitting [Nephew B] with a stick?
Niece:  Yeah, it’s all Lord of the Flies out there.  They’ll work it out.
Sister in Law (a little later, seeing them heaping the sticks in a large pile):  What are they up to now?
Me:  Looks like they’re about to re-enact the Spanish Inquisition.
Nephew in Law:  Sweet!

My sisters are going through a stack of my father’s clothes and trying to find takers.

Oldest sister:  Will your boys wear Dad’s old bow ties?
Brother #2 (firmly):  No, they believe that wearing a bow tie is a public admission that you no longer get an erection.

Someone has in fact set the pile of sticks on fire.

Sister in Law:  Is Brian out there?
Me:  Yes.
Sister in Law:  Thank God.  He’s the only one who’s sober.
Me (flagging down a passing nephew):  There seem to be two superficial flesh wounds on my husband’s forehead.  Dare I ask why?
Nephew:  The head came off the axe.
Me (to Sister in Law):  This is why I have him insured.

Brother #3 –  normally an abstemious man – has been inveigled into drinking toast after toast to my father in Crown Royal.  He wobbles into the kitchen and sits down next to my oldest sister, puts  his head on her shoulder, and begins patting her knee.

Sister:  Knock it off.  We’re not Southern.


GDad said...


Ladytats said...

sounds like a family that enjoys themselves and likes each other. Best kind there is.

Sam said...

I am sorry about your dad but this post made me giggle, snort and laugh very loudly at work. Sounds like a loving family.

Packrat said...

I laughed out loud, because this sounded so "home". May you keep the good memories.

May said...

Sorry about your dad. Didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this post. Thanks for sharing.

H J Hess said...

God rest Popeye's boy. Sounds like he left behind a lovely family. Thank you for letting us be a part of the wake.
Big hugs,