It’s true. I mean when someone dies, we get sad and cry. But it’s not long before we start laughing. Often right through the funeral.
Example: when my Great Aunt Angie died, there was a viewing as she was going to be cremated. We all went and sat there, just…looking at her. They had her on a gurney and it was at a 45 degree angle. Now I noticed something was…off about Ang right away, but kept my mouth shut. My cousin Michelle (Angie’s daughter) was sitting if front of my mother and myself. Suddenly she turned around and said, “I’m sorry, but did they stuff my mom’s bra? She wasn’t that busty!”
Example: one of the most told stories about my Uncle John involves me. My aunt had just gone through breast cancer and had a mastectomy. It was around the Christmas holiday, and I was in the kitchen talking about her prosthetic breast (we seriously discuss this shit in my family). My uncle went into the garage to bring in a case of soda. I told my aunt, that the prosthetic was really good, because I honestly couldn’t tell which was which. She told me, “This is the fake one. Feel it, it’s really soft.” So there I am, squeezing her fake boob when the garage door swings open and there’s my uncle. He said, “I know what you’re doing and I know why, but really…”
Well, my dad passed away in April. My brother and I went to Texas where he lived to clean out his apartment, and I got sick while I was there, because of course I did. Anyhow, we had him cremated and the remains sent here. He wanted his ashes sprinkled up in the mountains in Mendocino where he used to go hunting long ago. So my brother rented a minivan, since there were six of us: myself, my mother (they remained friends and would talk on the phone now and then after the divorce – before he moved to Texas, they even went out to breakfast a few times), my brother (who did all the driving, and there was a lot of it), and my three nephews (the youngest was almost 18, so they aren’t little kids or anything).
So we drove for five hours and put his ashes in two different spots. But dad had the last laugh.
At the first place we all got out, and my brother got the box that the ashes were in. Now I came prepared, I had brought those little paper masks like what doctors use (like in the third picture, below). I was the only one who put one on. I had enough for everybody, but nobody else wanted one. I was the only smart one.
My brother started to pour out the ashes (picture 1), and the wind picked up. Me and one of my nephews ran around to the other side of the car. My brother got a face full of…well…dad. We heard him kind of holler, “AAHHHH!” When we got back in the car he asked my mom for some water, and rinsed out his mouth. And since I am a younger sister, I helped out by saying, “I told you so.”
The other spot was fine (picture 2), no dad blow-back (although I still wore my face mask). I also managed to avoid getting carsick on the winding, bumpy roads (thank you, chewable Dramamine). And we stopped at Fenton’s on the way home, so that was pretty nice.
And I will have you know that when dad’s ashes were delivered, I put them directly in out apartment storage unit. It creeped me out. We had to carry them on the train to get to my brother’s house (we had them in a tote bag), and when the boys picked us up, I said loudly, “Open the trunk for grandpa!”