My dad’s memorial was about as fun as a funeral can be. My brother gave a speech that made me so proud, his friends John and Mark spoke and it was touching, and his cousins Danny and Bill told childhood stories that had the whole place cracking up. I saw so many people I haven’t seen in years, maybe even decades. People from our old church, my old private school, most of our neighborhood, my brother’s in-laws, etc. I met my Grandma’s stepbrother for the first time!
Lots of my friends came, including some who had never even met my dad, and that was beyond touching. My kindergarten BFF Jane managed to venture outdoors with an awful cold/flu/bug and it meant so much to me and my mom. (Hope you’re feeling better, Jane!) Graham had a fu manchu that would’ve made my dad proud. Peter brought pictures of his baby to cheer me up (and it worked!).
I really wanted to work his favorite song, “Gimme Shelter”, into the ceremony, but … well, it was at a church and they probably wouldn’t have appreciated the lyrics on page 4.
I used to always joke that my dad would be late to his own funeral, and my mom and brother were running pretty late so I guess I was right. My mom had put together this great slideshow of pictures and we didn’t even get to see it because they played it while everyone was sitting down. I’ll try to make a Facebook album of it or something.
We cried a little during the ceremony, especially during the hymns (I lost it during “Amazing Grace”; how cliché) but mostly we laughed. I got to walk my teeny tiny grandma down the aisle and I was happy to do it. Afterwards lots of people stayed for cake and it was so great to see everyone. I wish it was appropriate to take pictures during something like that, you know?
My niece had her first non-family babysitter ever and did awesome. I was really proud of her and glad my brother could show her off. I know I’m a little biased but she’s the cutest baby I’ve ever seen. I’m willing to bet even my future kids won’t be that cute. (But don’t tell them I said that.)
Today we’re going to spread some ashes at the family cabin in Cuba. During everyone’s speeches, they talked so much about Cuba and Arizona and it made me so happy that I insisted on spreading them. I don’t know when I’ll make it to Arizona, but it was my dad’s dream to make it there and I’m going to get him there if it kills me.
My family is in town for one more week (and Justin’s family is coming to town this weekend, too) so eventually I’ll get back out into the world to see all my friends. I miss you guys.
During the long talk that my dad had with Justin, he said that he didn’t know what love really was until the last two years of his life. After last night, I kind of feel the same way. I hope my funeral is that hilarious.