I know from the last post, most of you were probably wondering, "Where are the naked pictures?? Oh, yeah, and who the hell is GEORGE!? I thought the big jerk was talking about someone called POPPY!?"
Well, today you'll find out. Sheesh!! It's like I have to do everything.
Starting off with a service at the Episcopalian Church (what we refer to as “Catholic Light”) we ended up at the biggest cemetery in town.
A military funeral (because he was in the Marines), the service was very dignified and steeped in an appropriate level of sadness.
|"I'm so sorry for your loss...you gonna eat that?"|
My brothers, my sister, our spouses, and I stared quietly at the casket as it sat suspended over the open vault. Festooned with an untold number of floral garlands, its mute presence reminded us of our loss.
It was then I felt a little guilty over our hijinks from the night before.
|Now that I put this here, it looks kinda creepy.|
In an Uncle Ernie kinda way.
Suddenly, George, one of the people with whom we went to high school (NOTE: Another example of snooty "whom" grammar), stepped from behind the tree, a 30-pack of Budweiser in his hand. “Everybody gone?” he called.
|Not THE George. But A George.|
Sensing we had no clue what he was talking about it, he said, “When Ray knew he was going to die, he told me to get a case of beer and go to his gravesite and hide. Then,” he went on, “when everybody but the kids left, he told me to come on out and let you have a beer on him.”
Stunned, we stared at George, the beer, and the grave.
Nobody said a word for a few minutes. Then, one of us-I don’t remember who-grabbed a can. The rest of us immediately followed.
Popping our tops, we raised our cans to Poppy in toast.
Before we drank, though, Phil said, “Wait!” Opening a Bud, he set it on top of the casket, “Well, here you go, cheaper than you can get at Yankee Stadium.”
With that, we all had a beer to the memory of our father.
|So pop a top to Poppy|
It may have been a strange way to act at a funeral, but we knew that was the way Poppy would have preferred it. Why else would he have had the presence of mind to contract the services of “Funerals By George”?
Epilogue: At the post-service "Deviled Eggs and Macaroni Salad Fest", we were discussing how we’d like to be remembered when it was our turn to shuffle off this mortal coil. We agreed that nobody should be sad; while “have fun with it” sounds morbid, it pretty much sums up our philosophies.
Then, we “handicapped” who would go next. After focusing on who had the most hazardous profession (technically me, but Karen does have that rattlesnake walking business), we finally centered on health problems. While none of us have any medical issues to speak of, Phil and I DO have high blood pressure. Since we couldn’t decide who was more likely to die next, we flipped a coin.
Wonder if George is in the phone book?