Thursday, April 21, 2011

One Birthday and A Funeral

Audrey's 7th birthday started out with a funeral.  My husband's Uncle Wally was just 49 years old, and had only found out in February that he had stage 4 esophageal cancer.

I don't want to say that this is all that you need to know about Wally, but let's just say it's telling that his eulogy included a reference to MeTV, which is Chicago's local access channel for classic television shows.  Wally especially like the back-to-back Hogan's Heroes hour.

Also telling?  His wake was attended by both Sri, the owner of a Subway that he frequented, and a waiter from his favorite Italian restaurant which closed years ago.  How awesome is that?  It made me ponder which employees of local businesses see me frequently enough to attend my wake...the receptionists at Audrey's therapy clinics?  Walgreens pharmacists?  That judging little bitch of a counter girl at Dunkin' Donuts?

Well here's to you, big guy.  "A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants".  And if you don't know where that line is from, you would not have been able to hang with Uncle Wally.

It was a profoundly confusing day -- the very definition of an emotional roller coaster.  It's doubtful whether this confluence of events will ever be seen again, although I guess you could argue that there are some pro's and con's to it...

Good things about having a funeral and a children's birthday party on the same day

  • Either way you're going to end up with a throbbing headache, so you might as well get it all over with in one day.
  • You can nick some of the passed-around desserts at the funeral luncheon and "re-purpose" them for the party.  Kids love dried-up poppy seed roll and apricot kolacky right?
  • If you start sobbing and screaming that everyone has to leave RIGHT NOW during the birthday party, you can pretend that it's because you are still mourning the death of your dearly departed.

Bad things about having a funeral and a children's birthday party on the same day

  • The view out your rear view mirror, of a fluorescent orange FUNERAL sticker on your back window and a back seat stuffed with My Little Pony balloons, can be disconcerting enough to throw you into bipolar episode.
  • Random, inappropriate thoughts during the funeral mass, e.g.: wondering where you are going to hang the pinata as the priest swings that incense-burner-on-a-chain thingy over the casket.
  • The crushed pink sprinkles and butter cream frosting that is smeared down the front of you tends to show up even more on a black pantsuit.

Who knows what next year will bring, but I'm putting my vote in for more parties and less funerals.

27 comments:

  1. more parties and less funerals...something to aspire to for sure

    ReplyDelete
  2. "The view out your rear view mirror, of a fluorescent orange FUNERAL sticker on your back window and a back seat stuffed with My Little Pony balloons, can be disconcerting enough to throw you into bipolar episode."

    Yeah, what's wrong with THAT picture!!? You have to wonder what others are thinking.

    Sort of ironic to have a funeral AND a BIRTHday party on the same day. Celebrating, saying good bye and mourning life.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I give you major kudos for surviving both events in one single day!

    ReplyDelete
  4. So sorry for your families loss.. but ending it with a party? Thats fabulous!!! ESPECIALLY my little pony. Cake is cake. I'll take it any way i can get it!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, my. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    I've still gotta say that I appreciate the visuals... my little pony balloons, pink frosting and all. Maybe I'll update my will to include a clause that cake with pink frosting be served at my wake... it seems somehow fitting.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The incense thingy - LOL yeah that reminds me of the time my sister passed out in church. The incense made her sick and she fainted.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The cloven hooved bus driver. You know she'd show up at your wake!

    I'm sorry about the loss of your husband's Uncle. That's too young from a form of cancer that seems be striking the relatively young more and more often.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't get the seltzer in your pants reference, but Wally sounds like a fun guy.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I guess one could be philosophical and say that it is the kind of day that shows both of life's extremes. We have the joy of birthdays and the pain of loss. But, if you are surrounded by family and friends for both, you are a very lucky person.

    By the way, I would make sure your family doesn't even INVITE the judging little bitch at the counter of Dunkin' Donuts!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm leaving for a funeral soon! My friend's husband died after having health problems, leaving behind a 5-year old! It's depressing to think I'm pretty much done with attending my friends' weddings and baby showers. Now it's going to be funerals.

    ReplyDelete
  11. So sorry for your loss.

    It's a long way to Tipperary...

    ReplyDelete
  12. What is it with the judgy girl at Dunkin Donuts anywawy? We have one here too. I'm glad you survived and am sorry about your uncle and the timig of things.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I never met Wally, but from his funeral, I love him. And you are a sick woman. That's why I like you, tho.

    ReplyDelete
  14. @ryoko: I was speeding all day long...figured I'd get out of any tickets by claiming schizophrenia.

    @Mom2LittleMiss: I'd go to that wake!

    @AMR: Ugh. You're right. She'd be dancing on my grave.

    @CherylD: We've definitely turned a corner. My tally for this past year is 0 weddings and 5 funerals.

    @Yuji: You totally could have hung with Uncle Wally.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sounds like a seriously stressful day. Glad you got through it and hope Audrey had a good day at least.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Very sorry for your loss, Lynn. More parties and fewer funerals, indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  17. That's a lot of extremes in one day. I thought you were totally together and appropriately in birthday mode when I saw you!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow, back to back episodes of Hogan's Heros? Yikes! I must say that getting one headache instead of two is a definite plus... Here's to a nice, quiet Vicodin and staring at a beautiful, happy sleeping little Audrey. In the end, her birthday was celebrated and she was happy. Go to bed Lynn. It's been too weird of a day.

    ReplyDelete
  19. THat's a lot to handle in one day! So sorry about your loss. I hope the 2nd half of the day was more enjoyable and less stressful.

    Your post is featured today on my blog! Thanks again for guest posting. Love what you shared!
    http://barbaramanatee.blogspot.com/2011/04/progress-is-drop-in-bucket.html

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sorry about Uncle Wally...I, too, am a lover of nazi satire (it's rare to find).

    Hope Audrey's next birthday is funeral free, and no more funerals this year!

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a day for you! I get a headache just thinking about it. Hope the next birthday is much less eventful!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Peace Wally. Love the name. Wanted my kid to be a Wally. For real.

    ReplyDelete
  23. We have a very nice woman who works at our Dunkin Donuts. She always throws a few free munchkins at Ryan. Instead of just saying thank you, he has to tell her he doesn't like the chocolate ones and wants the glazed ones instead.

    Happy belated birthday to Audrey. RIP Uncle Wally. I really need to schedule an appointment with my GI.

    ReplyDelete
  24. On April 21st I attended my 49-year-old b-i-l's funeral. The next day I had an Easter cookie decorating extravaganza with my grandchildren...and the beyotchy downstairs neighbor in my oldest son's apt complex banged on the ceiling from all the noise of little feet and stomped upstairs and said her autistic son was trying to nap. I wanted to scream at her that MY autistic son was now having a meltdown because we were apparently having "too much fun" and perhaps she should turn down her Led Zeppelin if her son was trying to sleep...but I didn't. Then, yesterday I found your blog...life's little bits of serendipity, no?

    ReplyDelete