Friday, October 3, 2008

A Funeral Story

Two days after Ike we lost a family member to Breast Cancer. The situation down here with the aftermath was quite bleak so the funeral was put off until a week after the storm.

Don't worry, I'm not going to get morose - I think she'd enjoy my sharing this story with y'all.

So the day of the burial we have to go to a funeral home near downtown Houston - we're running late cause mominem have to primp - I need gas but I saw a Chevron near the funeral home the night before at the Rosary, so I don't hit any of the three Chevron's near me (I use Chevron Supreme - period). Get to the funeral home and drop mominem off at the door and head the two blocks to the Chevron - they only have regular.

No sweat, I'll get to the one about 3 miles away. This Chevron is completely out of gas and missing some pumps.

Ok, there's one near the liquor store on the other side of downtown. Only regular.

I'm starting to sweat as I REALLY need gas at this point - I know of two more within a 5 mile radius and luckily the next one about 3 miles away has Supreme! Hallelujah!

I wait in a short line and on the way back to the home I get a call that my dad is wondering where I am - I explain that I couldn't find gas but was on my way back. (Dad tells me later that he thought I had been jumped or something since the funeral home is in a rough neighborhood).

We finish the services and get into the procession - the cemetery is about 56 miles away. We don't get over 40 MPH the whole time.

Ok, we finally get there and this is where it gets interesting. The cemetery is just this side of Galveston. In a very small town - and this is their town's cemetery. It's on the 'wrong side of the tracks' and right across from a liquor store that has a carport out front - totally 1940 ish, except now it's scary.

Anyway, the cemetery is about 1/3 the size of my back yard, and the ground, which had been dry for a week, was eerily soft - I kept getting all "Stephen King" feeling and kept waiting for a boney hand to grab my ankle, but I digress...

So after saying like the 90th 'Our Father' that day ( I think even He was all like, Ok, I get it!), we put rose petals on the casket instead of gravel and as one of her son's goes up to put on his petals, he throws himself on the casket - totally out of a movie right? My sister was going to say something, but knew better and closed her mouth and told her husband to go get his brother.

Ok, so then they conclude the services, or so I thought - no one tells us to leave.

The next thing I know they start lowering the casket into the ground right there in front of everybody! I'm thinking, "oh man if he jumps in after the casket I'm going to seriously regret not bringing my camera!" (side note, is it just us mexicans that bring cameras to a funeral - isn't that tacky? - because some did and they took open casket photos)

Ok, as if that wasn't weird enough, they then lower the concrete crypt top onto the top of the concrete crypt.

Ok, now will they tell us to go? No.

Now they pull off the mechanism that helps lower everything, load it into a truck, have Syddo pick up all of the petals around the hole and throw them in - all the while dad is holding the back of her dress to make sure she doesn't fall in. Then they start moving the flowers out of the way, and pull the astroturf off of the mound of dirt.

Now will they dismiss us? No.

The next thing I know, my friend comes up to us standing in the back and whisper yells "Oh hell no, they fired up the back-ho!?!"

We turn around and sure enough, here comes a tractor with a front loader to push the dirt in! It was at this point that I say, "Ok, I'm outta here." and run (as best as you can with skeleton hand soft sod and dress shoes) back to the car.

I sit there and mominem comes to the car, sits down and says, "I have to poop". I say, well wait on dadinem. Then she says, very ladylike, "if you don't find me a bathroom right this minute I am going to sh*t in your car."

Let's say I never got out of a one-lane double-parked dirt road cemetery so fast in all my life!

Thank goodness for my car, a Mobile was open, and we went back and collected dad, who thought we left him. I still don't know if they filled the hole with an audience but I've never seen a service like that.

Thank goodness I'm being cremated.

Rest in Peace GiGi. R

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