Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Old Neighborhood

Kanai Funeral Home - Greenfield Ave
Doesn't the above building remind you of a haunted house?  I've always been afraid of it AND it contains dead people which just makes my point. 

So this is where I spent last weekend. 

My dad's father died and the viewing and funeral were on Friday and Saturday.  My grandfather was 96, married 73 years and died with his wife by his side.  He lived long and well and though I am sad for my father and my grandmother it was the longest weekend of my life.  And I have had some long weekends. 

I don't mean to sound callous.  I know I needed to be there for my father and to pay my respects.  It's just that revisiting the old neighborhood and spending large amounts of time with my family falls on the scale just below having needles stuck in my eyes.

So this is what it was like.

Conversation overheard as I was kneeling in front of the casket.

Senile family member:  "Who's in the box?"
Unknown relative:  "That's your husband."

Conversation between Sunshine and Happiness and my Aunt Helen:

S&H:  "Hi I'm Sunshine and Happiness, Dark and Twisty's partner.  Good to see you again."

Aunt Helen:  "Oh, I remember you."  Sharp heal spin giving S&H her back, abrupt end of conversation.  I don't think she's big on the whole gay thing.

Discussion early on at the funeral home.

My mom:  "Would you be comfortable doing the eulogy? "

Me to myself: "Wait a minute, my grandfather has 3 sons and 2 daughters.  Why is she asking me?"

Me outloud:  "Why are you asking me this?  Shouldn't Daddy or one of the kids be doing it?"

My mom:  "None of them know enough about your grandfather to write one."

Me:  "So why are you asking me?"

My mom:  "Because they asked me to do it but I don't know enough about him to write one either."

Yikes.  No eulogy for Grandpap.

 In making the arrangements for the wake my family tried to reserve this place.

Formerly Mike's Bar
This just so happens to be the bar where I became an expert on alcoholism.  My own.

Luckily, it wasn't available so here's where the wake was held.
Rock Bottom.  A dueling piano bar.  And appropriately named.

As evidence of this I shall relay one final ditty.

When we entered the bar, we sat down, settled ourselves and ordered a coffee.  Suddenly with no warning a wild eyed, wild haired woman sat herself down right beside us.  I had no idea who this woman was but she started inserting herself into each and every conversation and making absolutely no sense at all.  It was obvious that she had some kind of mental illness and so I just assumed she was related.  Then as S&H was fixing her coffee,  the woman turned and looked at her and asked her for several packets of sugar.  S&H  passed them to her at which point she promptly tore them open, threw her head back and poured them down her throat.  Then she started mainlining Truvia.  I kid you not.
Now I can be a bit slow so S&H had to clue me in that this crazy woman was a junkie who apparently was detoxing.  Come to find out she lives across the street from my grandparents and just decided to show up.  So I spent the rest of the buffet guarding S&H's  purse.

Rock Bottom indeed.