March 21, 2008

in passing

So, last weekend was spent on the road, heading to the old homestate of MI for the funeral of my grandfather, or as he was more commonly known, Grampy. I wish we wouldn't have had to make the trip in such a short time span (minimum twelve hour drive each way, and we only got two days there). But, that's the thing with funerals, you don't get warning, or to make elaborate travel plans. At least, not in my world.

The bright spot in all of it was that I got to see my family for a bit, catch up with some of them. See the ever-evolving niece and nephews. The funeral was traditional Catholic. A mass, with the homily based on the deceased. I got to see my grandfather laid out briefly, before the service, so I did at least get to say goodbye, as it were. Though it was all very surreal. He just didn't look like him, you know? I had to hold it together for the service, as I found out just beforehand that I was signed on to do the old testament reading. I was a little nervous, seeing as I was at a funeral, for my dear grandfather, had not done a church reading in, oh, fifteen years, and the reason everyone thought I was the perfect choice is that I have a theater degree/am an actor. No pressure.

Even if I could hold it together, it becomes very hard when other people around you are losing it. I couldn't look at anyone once the service started, and had to focus very hard on the task at hand. I made it through, hopefully it was passable.

The whole event, while very traditional, was, well, very traditional. Outside of Grampy going to mass faithfully every day, it didn't say much about him, as a person, or the life he led. Sure, his pastime of wearing roller skates and hanging on the backs of moving cars was mentioned, as was his photography. But, shouldn't a literal celebration also be acceptable? My Grampy led a pretty extraordinary like when you really look at it. He was around for 98 years. Driving until his 95th. Around during two World Wars, the Depression, Prohibition, a multitude of presidencies. The youngest of a large family, drinking homemade wine with dinner in his youth, going out dancing and playing handball. Playing basketball when he was a high school sophomore, attending the University of Michigan when it had one campus, and a small one at that. So, so many life events. So many stories.

I'd like to think that Grampy is in Heaven, back with his wife, and dancing it up with a glass of wine. It would befit such a long and interesting life.

Posted by raven at March 21, 2008 05:55 PM
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