There were plenty more places I'd rather have been yesterday. Instead I attended my Father-in-law's funeral. How can you put over in words, the minutes of the day! You can't for instance say it was a really good experience, in fact how do you describe a funeral. I found myself using the term 'dignified' as it seemed most appropriate. In fact the whole day could not have gone better. The weather behaved and gave us some warm sun. The floral tributes were breathtaking and it was good to meet up with relations who only ever become apparent when there is a family tragedy or an event to celebrate. It's true that I hardly know any of my husband's tribe and I found myself asking behind closed doors "Who's that?" The same went for the family and me, they didn't know who I was either which is a bit un-nerving given the fact that I married into the family 19 years ago!
To their credit I have to admit that I've changed beyond recognition since the last get together! For one I'm much slimmer and my hair is now short, straight and blonde as opposed to long, curly and dark. I'm sure they thought my hubby was having an affair! I guessed that they were too afraid to ask, so for a huge part of the day I was ignored and given some very strange looks! The air changed around me so much when one relative actually asked if I was Des's sister. At that point I didn't know whether to laugh or walk home! Des was my Father- in- law and the whole reason why we were standing in his home mourning his passing! Adding to the fact that he was 79, he must have had a very strange family with 31 years between us --- Yikes! is that all? I must look incredibly old. I expressed a sense of shock as I mumbled, "No I'm Steve's wife, Barbara."
The whole room seemed to fall silent and then the apologies began. "We didn't know you, you've changed so much." Yeah right! So much that I look like my Hubby's Dad's Sister!
The atmosphere became one of aplogetic gestures but it certainly cleared the air of suspicion. I actually got on quite well with the family after that -- talk about a fish out of water! And speaking of fish, we went on to the wake afterwards and an Aunt asked if I would go to the bar with her as she didn't drink alcohol very much. I asked for a Cola and she asked for a Vodka and caffiene based drink -- she actually drank like a fish! I was not going to be held responsible for her slurry speech, or the wonky walk afterwards so I avoided her like the plague after that!
The day ended with a downpour of rain -- couldn't resist making a show, even for one day! Still the funeral was over and poor Des was laid to rest. The hardest part was seeing my hubby upset and the sad memories of last year when my Mum died. Suddenly all those emotions flooded back and coupled with the fact that my daughter read out a self-composed piece, it became a little bit too much at one point. The feeling of sadness and then pride as she stood in front of all those people and read a tribute to her Grandad without even a break in her voice was amazing.
Today, has been quite sedate in relation. We feel like we don't know what to do next. Hubby is asleep on the couch, the TV is is switched on but I don't know what's playing. The sun is shining and I don't know whether to go out or stay in. A wasted day so far as building work goes. Perfect day for chilling out, awful day to get through!