Old Sister had taken over all the funeral arrangements. Just as she did when our dad died when I was 18. At that time, she arranged for a priest from the Greek Orthodox church to conduct his service. This was despite the fact my dad also wasn't particularly religious but did have leanings toward either A) the Mormon church or B) Garner Ted Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God. . The airport was snowed in, so no one from Alberta could make it to B.C. where the funeral was held. She had him buried, although he had hated the thought of rotting in a box and had always said he wanted to be cremated. The priest had no real clue who he was talking about as evidenced by his request we all "bow our heads in a moment of silent prayer for Mr. Mixed-Up-Name". Yes, he completely jumbled the 3 syllables of our surname.
It was an interesting service though. I'm torn between the eulogy for a man he was completely unfamiliar with or Old Sister's impromptu speech about Hallowe'en pranks Dad pulled as a kid for my favourite part. It was a nice service though. The casket was a bit elaborate in my humble opinion, but maybe I'm just bitter because the very first thing the Nameless Man and I did when we got married at age 19 was assume the debt to pay off the thousands still owed for dad's service. Yep. that's right. She staged an elaborate service and then stiffed the funeral home for the bill. It took us several years at $325 per month to pay it all off. Great way to start married life together doncha think?
.....Okay, here's the deal. I had this huge post drafted and then Wonderful Daughter, a.k.a. Jiminy Cricket pointed out it was very bitter. Caustically bitter.
However, that's not the post you are going to get. Suffice it to say, Old Sister opened the funeral with a joke. And it went rapidly downhill from there. Apparently her and her live-in have contests over My Mom is Crazier Than Your Mom. So, we got to hear all about the roving bands of lesbians that supposedly pursued my mom around in later years. Erm, ???... This is a funeral talk?
When we got back to "normal" later much, much later...My mom was lauded for her generosity and kindness.
Funny, when I got pregnant as an unwed teen (a situation both her and my Old Sister had found themselves in) she said, "Don't even think about coming home." Funnily enough, Old Sis got support and help. Mom drove an hour into town every week to provide her with anything she needed.
She only offered support to accompany me into the delivery room when I confessed how terrified I was of the birthing process. She was a nursing aide and I don't know nuthin' about birthing no babies.... The day I went into labour, I called to tell her it was Go Time. Alas, she couldn't drive in from the ranch that day. She had "floors to wash". So I, at age 17 gave birth completely alone with a little Vietnamese girl shrieking out her own terror in the very next bed. This was March 10th. My best girlfriend stood by my side as I signed the adoption papers a week later. My dad had died February 23rd, (3 weeks before I gave birth) and I was on. my. own.
Better, when we celebrated Christmas with them, one year there was gifts, mountains of gifts for my niece and not one thing for my two kids. They were 5 and 3 at the time. It was an awkward drive home to say the least. Oh, and our last Christmas with them.
My niece was always at my mom's. She would stay for days on end. Old Sis needed a break doncha know? When I had my youngest, he weighed 10lb 4 oz (ouch right?!) and I had over 100 stitches. She promised when I was released, Wonderful Daughter (who was 2 1/2 yrs old) and I could come and stay a few days with her until the Nameless Man finished the night shift rotation he was currently on. Guess what happened? She was "too tired" so I packed up my kids and went home to do it all on my own.
Lastly, when Old Sis had any kind of medical procedure or even just a serious test, my dear, kind and generous Mom would put everything else on hold and rush to sit by her side until the crisis had passed. I, on the other hand, had a total hysterectomy at age 28 and she couldn't even come visit me, let alone sit any kind of vigil at my side. Oh, and she lived in the same city as we did by this time... I guess it should have been no big surprise, she hadn't come to see me during any of the 4 or 5 surgeries that led up to the hysterectomy.
To sit there at her service while she was held up as some shining example of kindness and generosity*...puhleeze!
Proofreading this, it occurs to me, Wonderful Daughter seems to have been right, but also oh, so wrong.... Bitter? Bitter doesn't even scratch the surface.
* All of these events happened to me before she was considered mentally ill