Today we attended the funeral of a very dear lady, Carolyn, who was a long time member of our church and mother of one of our good friends. Here are a few things I loved about Carolyn: she had a cane and wasn’t afraid to use it, meaning if you ticked her off she just might whack you with it; her spunk, no matter how ill or frail she was she still had spunk and would get mad if she couldn’t find the pie server in the church kitchen or we tried to add a new menu item to the annual Thanksgiving dinner; every single person in our church received a birthday card courtesy of Carolyn, may not have always been on your birthday but didn't matter; even though Wednesdays were one of her dialysis days, that didn’t stop her from being at church every Wednesday night even if she felt horrible which she probably did; I never heard her complain about her aches and pains although they were aplenty, her husband always had to tell everyone how she was doing because she never said a word about them.
It was a bittersweet day as she’s no longer suffering and is probably up in heaven right now bossing people around and planning the Thanksgiving banquet, but church just won’t be the same without her sitting in her pew, organ side. We’ll miss you Carolyn!
One of my faults (or strengths depending on how you look at it) is finding the humor in every situation. And yes that includes funerals, unfortunately. Just ask my sisters how many inappropriate laughs and giggles we had at our Mom’s visitation. We got many a dirty looks but it’s how we dealt and you know what, to all you dirty look givers, our Mom would’ve been laughing right along with us while simultaneously scolding me for making them laugh. :)
So in true Prairie Princess fashion here are a few highlights from Carolyn’s funeral, no disrespect obviously:
1) My parking job. There were a lot of people there so the parking lots at church were full and I didn’t want to park on the circle drive going to the upper level so instead I parked on the grass next to the circle drive going up the hill. However, you know how I park, so it ended up looking like if you touched it to roughly on the driver’s side it would flip right over. Luckily, it was dirty enough that no one dared touch it so it remained upright.
2) Trisha (wife of GI Joe’s #1 brofriend John) and I sat next to each other at the funeral because our husbands were sitting together since they were both pallbearers, and mainly because they are brofriends. While waiting for the service to start we discovered that we both have a problem with getting the giggles at funeral. Then we avoided eye contact or conversation for the remainder of the service so as not to burst into giggles..or tears.
3) Someone’s cell phone went off during the funeral service and the pastor aka my father in law, without missing a beat, said “If that’s God I’ll take it.” And then Trisha and I were able to let out our giggles without getting any dirty looks. But seriously people, let’s turn off cell phones when attending a funeral, I’m just sayin.
4) In the processional from the church to the cemetery, my mother in law and I rode with Trisha and were having some good ol’ girl chat, until Trisha got so caught up in the conversation that she nearly rear ended the person in front of her. That would’ve been classic, a fender bender in the processional line, at least there were police nearby. Trisha is awesome.
5) As we were putting out the funeral food spread at the church we came upon a bowl in the fridge that said “Heavenly Egg Salad.” No one knew who had brought it or where it had come from. The ironic thing about it was that Carolyn always brought egg salad sandwiches to Food Fun and Fellowship (that’s what we Baptists call a potluck). I think I know exactly where that Heavenly Egg Salad came from, that Carolyn she’s a sneaky one.
6) On my way back to work from the funeral I was on the interstate and went through a construction zone while trying to eat my to-go plate of funeral food. As I passed the guy standing next to the Slow sign we made eye contact and then HE BLEW ME A KISS! Seriously. Must’ve been the baked beans dripping down my chin or the sandwich I was trying to stuff in my mouth, oh yeah I looked hot, and so did he in his neon vest and all.
As it always does, attending a funeral made me think of my own last wishes. I’m documenting them here so should that time come and GI Joe is too overwrought with grief that you, my faithful readers, will be able to step in and remind him of my wishes. No, I'm not a control freak or Type A planner why do you ask?
*Let it be known that there are to be absolutely NO ham sandwiches at my funeral meal. Ham sandwiches=Death. I’m gonna take that a step further and say no deli meat sandwiches at all. I want a Taco/Nacho bar and if anyone tries to serve a ham sandwich at my dinner I will haunt you.
*Regarding my funeral service music, I want some gospel, some R & B (just no Kanye West, I happen to agree with the president (for once) on him), some country, and some rock n’ roll. I mean that pretty much sums up my life right there. No “My Heart Will Go On” or similarly sappy tunes please. Our wedding had as many songs as a Broadway musical and I loved it so why should my funeral be any different? Let’s rock it out, ya’ll!
*I want my funeral to be one full of laughs. Instead of reading a boring obituary (although it won’t be because I’m totally going to write it before I die) I want people to get up and tell a funny story about me or heck, just read a few posts from this blog. Remember me how I am, ditzy, uncoordinated, accident prone, sarcastic, sentimental outrageous, outspoken, over the top, bad at math, etc.
*If you see anyone at the funeral that you KNOW I didn’t like (ex: Jason the Clown Brown, the “Bulldog”, Kanye West sorry he’s just really on my nerves right now, GI Joe’s ex-girlfriend “Horse Face”) please escort them out immediately. I don’t care if they are there to pay their respects I don’t want them. For my 30th birthday I threw a huge party, complete with bouncy slide, Elvis impersonator, the works and sent an invitation to anyone who had ever meant anything to me, that I could remember and that I thought might attend. I went so far back as to invite the neighbor boy from 3rd grade that I haven’t seen since or talked to since I moved in ’89 (shockingly, he did not attend). Initially post party, I concocted a list of people who were invited to my 30th but didn’t attend and did NOT RSVP, and those on that list would not be allowed at my funeral because I was officially done with them forever. (Over dramatize much?) It came to my attention that there could’ve been, and actually were errors with the mail service, change of addresses, circumstances beyond control, warranting people not attending or RSVP’ing, so maybe the “funeral list” was a bit harsh. Since I did turn 30 and became a more rational, mature adult I accepted this and am not ostracizing those people forever. But there is still a list and if you’re name is on it don’t come to my funeral because I’ll know you’re there to gawk OR to hit on my grief stricken husband, I’m talking to you…Horse Face.
*Many people say they don’t want a lot of flowers or an extravagant casket. I am not one of those people. I want all things pink. Pink casket draped with pink flowers, pink programs, the works. We can accent in black, it looks good with pink. You know my motto, "Go big or go home.", literally.
">*Lastly, I want a black funeral. Not black in color or black as in grim but black as in like a black person's funeral. Hands down the classiest kind of funeral ever. We attended one last year and I immediately called a black friend and asked how I get a funeral like that and if it mattered that I am in fact, not black. For starters a trumpet serenaded the family in and the pallbearers were tall, handsome black men dressed in WHITE suits and WHITE gloves, they looked like angels. It was surreal. I want the angels and trumpet at my funeral. Remember I used to be black ('92-'94), so it's totally fitting.
Enough death talk, I've still got a lot of living and blogging to do. Starting tonight when we go see Billy Currington (be still my heart) and Sugarland in concert. There are bound to be stories from that as we're 11th row, which means we'll likely have an altercation or 2 with Security as we rush the stage. Stay tuned, and do you mind if I call you for bail?