White DE version 2

Monday, August 08, 2005

Exhausting Day

Yesterday was Pam's funeral. It had been planned for her local Methodist church, but it soon became apparent that there would not be enough room. Luckily, our friend Sandy offered her church. Congress St. United Methodist Church happens to be one of the largest churches in the city. Boy, did we need it. I got to the church just before 1:30 and had to park 3 blocks away. I walked in and finally found a seat, one of the only remaining that I could see. I thought I was going to be OK...then I realized that a Sarah McLachlan song was playing. 'Angel' had been the song I dedicated to my mother at her funeral all those years ago. Now, at another mother's funeral, I hear it again. I was seated just in front of a row of ladies from the health center and as soon as the song started they all reached up to grab my shoulder, rub my arm...throw Kleenex at me.

The service was very nice...about halfway through I looked behind me and noticed that people were lining the walls of the main room. Looking beyond them, I saw people standing in the lobby. It wasn't until later that I learned that people were even standing outside, just wishing to be there to offer condolences. Pam's brother died of leukemia 10 years ago...Pam had written several pieces in his memory, and they were very fitting to be used at ther memorial, also. I saw, in 5 hours yesterday, almost every one I have ever worked with...all there to remember Pam. I saw old teachers, old neighbors, old friends...all there to honor her memory.

After the church service, people gathered all over the church grounds to greet each other and talk, remembering Pam and rekindling friendships. Lunch plans were made, dinners arranged, hugs exchanged, tears blotted... We finally gathered for the ride to the cemetery. Unfortunately, we couldn't have a police escort or a traditional procession because it was such a long ride to the cemetery. Surprisingly, though, when we started driving, everyone in line turned on their headlights and hazard flashers. The entire way, people driving towards us would turn on their headlights or pull to the side of the road while we passed.

We finally arrived at the cemetery and Pam's sister had planned a balloon release. It was a very nice sentiment and truly touching. While Pam was cremated, her cremains were still buried. Her final resting place is on a hill, overlooking a beautiful apple orchard. It really is a wonderful view and a very serene location.

After the graveside service, there was a fellowship dinner planned at Pam's own, smaller, church near her home. The ladies of the church had been so kind and made an entire dinner buffet for us. They were there all afternoon cooking and getting things set up. It really was very nice. It was also nice to sit around with friends and laugh and tell stories.

The absolute high point of the meal was Cherie telling us about her father trying to do some yardwork. Her father is extremely old and usually has a girl down the street halp him with his around the house chores. Well, it's no secret to anyone that she is a lesbian. When Cherie asked him why he was doing this, and didn't have his neighbor do it, he yelled back, "Damn dyke didn't call me back!" It probably sounds horrible, but knowing Cherie's father...it is hilarious. Even more hilarious is Cherie's response, "You know, dad, lesbians aren't the only ones that can take care of a bush!" We busted out laughing...loudly...and every head in the room turned toward us...We couldn't stop laughing and my friend Billie just kept squealing, "take care of a bush!" Soon, the story had spread and everyone was laughing...it really helped lighten the mood. About 5 minutes later, my friend Trisha leaned over to me and says, "Oh my god...I just got it." There goes another whole round of laughter...too funny.

After dinner, I headed home, took a LorTab, and headed to bed. I was EXHAUSTED from the day and still couldn't sleep...I was up till almost 3:00 this morning...and didn't wake up till noon...the longest I have slept in weeks.

Thanks for hanging in there with me over the past week or so...I think it's finally on an upswing...

I am back!


Blogger Jay Six said...

You never went anywhere, kiddo. That sounded beautiful. The sharing you've done in the last week has been amazing. Thank you letting us in and and thank yourself for letting yourself feel - it's vital at times like these.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Jake McCafferty said...

What a nice funeral service. It showed what a wonderful impact your friend had on people. If only her and others like her, could see that before the fog takes over completely.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Rigo said...

Sounds like a beautiful service. It's good to hear that so many people cared for her.

8:47 PM  
Blogger . said...

I am glad you are feeling better. I know it has been hard but I see the shroud lifting from you. Remember the good things and focus on the happy times!

11:11 PM  
Blogger FB said...

Honey, come back when you feel like your ready to. Don't rush. We will still be here sending you hugs and stupid fuzzy thoughts about cute little kittens and their balls of yarn.

haha, I said balls.

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Aaron said...

Very glad to hear that you got to do some healing with your extended family (friends) for Pam. Sounds like it was a nice ceremony and the "bush" make me LOL here at work making heads turn.. HAHA..

xoxo Matty .. we're here for you.


9:56 AM  

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