Home Sweet Home

I wanted so badly to post this picture yesterday, but I could not get it done.  I was sitting in my brother’s beautiful house after the funeral, and saw an abundance of roses in bloom outside!  Imagine that!  They are beautiful.  My sister-in-law was a great gardener.

I hadn’t really thought about it before, oddly, but my brother who just lost his wife is my only sibling who doesn’t get on my last nerve.  I was ready to punch my sister by this morning.  She actually drove to the airport, going 70 mph down the highway, slamming on her brakes every time she saw a sign.  I had GPS on my phone, and was giving her good directions, but she refused to believe anything I said.  It’s a miracle we didn’t have a wreck.

My brother has such a beautiful family.  Two daughters.  One daughter has one daughter.  The other daughter has four sons and two daughters (one of whom is named Mary).  She home schools them.  The boys are altar servers.  They sat perfectly at their grandmother’s funeral.  They cried, but not a peep out of any of them, not even the youngest, who is 3 years old.  They knelt when they were supposed to, they were model children at Mass.  All the boys had ties on, and the girls had pretty little dresses.

When we came back to the house, my sister asked for a drink.  They all told her that no one in the house drank, so there was no alcohol.  She cajoled, etc.  You know, “aw, come on, you have to have something!”  She finally went out to buy some scotch so she could have a drink.  When they left, my brother turned to me and said “she must really need a drink to not take any of those blatant hints!”  Yep.  And one of my other brothers apparently did too, because he was standing in the kitchen with his back to everyone, pouring bourbon in his diet coke.  Lots of bourbon.  He got a little bit smashed and started telling jokes.  My sister thought they were hysterical.  My brother and I were just incredulous that they would behave so inappropriately on the day of a funeral.  And in front of all of those innocent children who had just lost their beloved mimi.  Jeez.

I had thought I could save money  by staying in my sister’s room.  But after one night, I was willing to spend every cent I have in the world to get my own room…. and she was highly insulted.  She just does not get it.

Last night we left the small town where my brother lives and drove down to Birmingham to stay so we could be close to the airport this morning.  The hotel was filthy!  I turned down the covers on my bed and found an ant IN the bed.  I was afraid at first that it might have been a bedbug, but it sure looked like an ant.  Bedbugs look like flat little ladybugs and they are red.  How does an ant get IN a bed?

OK, so let’s try to focus on a little positive here:  My brother was thrilled that his two brothers and two sisters came to the funeral.  Although my brother is weak and has parkinson’s, he sings as beautifully as ever.  I was so shocked to hear his singing voice at Mass.  I was also shocked to see that when he walked up the aisle to receive communion, he walked strong and straight and upright.  Unlike my other two brothers, he has not lost any of his considerable height.  It was also good to see how respected my brother is in his community.  He has a beautiful family.  And it was the most beautiful funeral I have ever attended… incense, Gregorian Chants, a real sermon by a great priest.  It was heartening.

I am exhausted and hope to sleep for a little while as the football games play on…

Thanks for your prayers.

Noah was the first tiller of the soil.  He planted a vineyard; and he drank of the wine, and became drunk, and lay uncovered in his tent.  — Genesis 9:20-21

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14 Responses to Home Sweet Home

  1. Hope says:

    I have been thinking of you and praying this weekend. I am glad you are back home safe and sound. I have sometimes felt sad that the people who know me the least are my siblings.

  2. Dave U says:

    Thanks for sharing all that, Mary. I think it was good for you to get away from home for a few days. Remember when we drank? It didn’t matter if kids were around or if it was after a funeral. LOL

    • Good reminder Dave. I think I see my drinking life as a thing of youth. I cannot imagine that a couple of 70 somethings would behave that way…. but you are right. I could do that too, with a little drop of booze.

  3. Mary LA says:

    Such a moving and difficult time — I’m glad you are home safe. Prayers for the repose of your sister-in-law’s soul.

  4. Pam says:

    Oh Mary….I loved reading this!

  5. Syd says:

    I am sure that it’s good to be back home. Visiting for me is generally okay for a few hours, but I long for my own space. Glad that you got home safely.

  6. Ugh. Barf. I am so sorry you had to experience that. It sounds exactly like something that would have happened in my own family, so its very easy for me to relate to this. Such joy, however, to see your brother’s family continuing on with such grace.
    As for the ant….

  7. sznbrwn@gmail.com says:

    I live and work in Birmingham so am familiar with the hotel you most likely stayed at – the one close to the airport? It’s horrible! Sorry you had to deal with that. I’m sorry for the loss of your family memeber, but happy you got to spend some time with your family in Alabama the Beautiful!

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