My dad's mother's sister's husband died last week. Funeral was today. I had two personal days to use or lose by the end of the year, so I took half a day to go to the funeral.
I think I have told you that Primo moved here instead of Pittsburgh because he did not want to live near his mom and dad but wanted to be away from California. He had no ties to this place, which I would prefer to be unnamed because I am paranoid, but moved here anyhow.
My dad's side is actually from this city, but we never lived here because my dad was in the air force and we were all over the place. But any time we were in the US and came to see relatives, we stopped here to see my dad's aunt and uncle. My uncle Fritz, who was a pilot in WWII and then a cop, was my dad's favorite. I remember fishing off the pier in front of their house after uncle Fritz retired from the force and they moved to a family cottage on the lake, a place that there is no way a cop could afford today.
So - coincidence that I am living here, but I am in this city and my great uncle died and I knew him and my dad's two brothers and their wives would be driving in for the funeral and I always like to see them, so a half day off it was.
Primo said he would come with me, even though he said that he did not want to sit through a funeral Mass and I said, "Dude nobody does but it is what you do - it is part of the mourning ritual and that is how it is done."
On the way to the funeral, Primo's phone rang. It was the title company handling the sale of Sly and Doris' house. There is some issue with how the ownership of the house was set up with respect to the trust - do not ask me for details - as soon as Primo started going into them (which he loves to do because he is an engineer and there is no detail too small for an engineer), I said, "This is something to let the lawyer deal with because there is no way you can figure this out."
But what it came down to was Primo might actually own half of the house (which is not that much money after the mortgage and home equity loans are paid), which would be nice because he has already spent a year dealing with Sly and Doris' issues and although he did not take a year off with the intention that he would take care of them and that he would reimbursed for it, I DO NOT WORK AS A HOBBY. And as Sly disinherited Primo and went out of his way to specify that Primo could not be paid for being trustee, I don't have a single problem with Primo getting some cash.
Now. Back to the funeral. My aunts and uncles were there and my 2nd cousin or whatever my dad's cousin is to me. I saw people I usually only get to see once a year and I saw my great-aunt Helen, who is 92 years old and still rocking.
I talked to my aunt Pat, who is 81. She broke her foot this summer but played golf with her boot. She and my aunt Aggie are always elegant and well groomed and they get up at 5:30 a.m. to go to aerobics and then sometimes they will hit 8 a.m. Mass, sometimes they don't. My aunt Pat is still on the board of health for the county. All of these aunts and uncles keep very active.
I thought, "I am so, so lucky to have these genes! This is who I want to be when I am 81! This is part of why I work out!" (The main reason is because I am vain.)
And then I talked to my great aunt Helen, my great-uncle's wife. She is 92. (She is my grandma Sylvia's younger sister - you remember Sylvia - my friend Ilene put red lipstick on Sylvia when she was in her coffin because nobody recognized her in the soft pink the undertaker had used.)
Helen is elegant, with it, and standing tall. She is who I want to be when I am in my 90s. I got really lucky with my genes.
Not one single eulogy contained the phrase, "Although he could be difficult." Instead, they were about uncle Fritz teaching his sons to hunt, fish, repair cars, repair a house, repair anything. They were about uncle Fritz teaching his grandchildren to fish and hanging out with them and telling them stories and just being a good grandpa in general. No, "Although he could be difficult."
I am lucky in so many ways.