Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A funeral

The elderly shut-in I cared for died Sunday morning. Her funeral was today. Donned a black dress, hose and heels for the occasion. It's the first time in over a year that I've even worn jewelry or make up.

Was trying to remember the last time I'd been to a funeral. I think it was when Floyd died. Those of you in Alaska may remember Floyd. He was the mentally-challenged Native guy that used to smile and wave at passing traffic.

When I used to work graveyard at the porno store in Spenard, Floyd would show up in the early morning near the end of my shift. He wasn't a customer of the porno store, never bought anything or even looked at the merchandise. He just knew I worked alone and couldn't leave the store so he'd come in and ask if he could get me coffee from the McDonalds across the street.

I never knew Floyd very well. He was just that happy guy waving at traffic, making people smile. When I read about his death in the paper, I called my friend Sarah and we went to his funeral.

I think there are few things in this world as beautiful as a good funeral. Floyd's was a good funeral. One of the most memorable I've ever been to. It was standing room only. Pretty impressive for a panhandler from some small, far flung Alaskan village.

Anyway, I thought of Floyd this afternoon while I was at the old lady's funeral. She had a nice turnout. She left behind a passel of children, step-children, grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Her mother was there too - the 90-year-old woman I've mentioned previously in this blog. I hadn't seen her in a while so it was nice to catch up with her. Going to see her next week.

I knew quite a few people there - lots of mutual relatives. Those I didn't know were already aware of me. Apparently, the old lady had often spoken well and often of me to her friends and family. It was genuinely touching to hear the nice things she'd said about me. It's weird that these people had known her for decades yet I was the one she'd spent her last day with.

First time in a long time I'd actually watched the body be lowered in the ground. But it's the first time in a while that I've attended a funeral in a church located right next to the cemetery.

She looked really nice - all decked out in her Sunday best. As she'd been just short of bedridden, I'd never seen her in anything other than pajamas. It's a shame that it took her dying to get the two of us into dresses.

Still don't know if I'm going to Michigan this weekend or not. I talked to her son about it - the neighbor-cousin who I'm supposed to ride with along with his wife.

Should be more concerned about what's going on this weekend but - que sera sera. Rather than worry, I'm drinking homemade apple wine and writing this update. Also getting ready for my upcoming yard sale. Gotta raise some cash now that I'm no longer taking care of the old lady. Can't pay my electric bill with eggs and watermelons.

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