- Apparently there was a service - today - as a "close friend" of my stepmother's accidentally blurted out to me at the end of the calling hours (so I suppose they're not all that close after all or the friend would have known that I'm not "really" part of the family) - and I wasn't invited. Nice.
- So I've got no idea what's happened to my father's ashes, but I figure that since I had to bust my ass to visit my father for the past 15 years with no reciprocity that I'm probably exempt from having to visit his remains. In other words, wherever the ashes are is fine with me, though, as my mom noted, this does sort of exemplify the way that my stepmother has held him hostage (though in his life with his permission, so it wasn't all her) all this time.
- The calling hours thing wasn't so bad. Only A. ended up coming of my friends (J.'s mom had emergency gall bladder surgery so direct your prayers that way!), but my uncle and his wife did come, too, and my grandmother's sister and one of her daughters. The whole thing was an episode of Celebrity Widow - not at all a send-off for the recently departed - and thus (I thought) gross - but I think I handled the whole thing with class and sensitivity. I realize my classiness and sensitivity are not in evidence here, but I blew my wad on that yesterday.
- I should admit, though, that A. and I were starved in the middle of the whole thing, so at one point cut out for some taco bell, which some might not regard as a classy move. Hilariously, at about the same time my brothers cut out with some of their friends for dairy queen. Were my dad not dead and all, I think he would have been right there with us.
- The great thing about the whole thing being Celebrity Widow was that I did get to have private (i.e., no stepmother keeping watch) conversations with my brothers, and the three of us are cool with one another and I think they get where I'm coming from in terms of wanting a relationship with them and being here for them.
- Today I went to mass with my mother and it was really just perfect. Because it was a Lenten mass, the readings and the sermon were all about death and rebirth, and living with Christ as an example, and it really just was the perfect thing. Then I went to lunch with my parents, and then my mom and I tried to go visit my grandma but she wasn't home, so we left a flower and a note. Duty there done.
- Now I'm back home with my kitties, and I'm feeling like I got the closure that I needed. Of course I'm still grieving, and will continue to do so, but I feel like I said goodbye to my father and at peace with things.
- I think my favorite thing of yesterday was that one of the pictures (one of the few that included me) that was displayed was one that I didn't know existed. The picture seems to have been taken in the summer, when I was 12 or 13. I think that the picture, aside from my apparent age, can be dated about 1987, from my outfit. In the picture, a bunch of people are sitting around a table outside, at what appears to be a cookout of some kind. I'm sitting on my dad's right, my dad was in the middle, and my stepmother was on his left. My dad has his arm around my stepmother, and they're smiling happily. I'm a few inches from my father, arms crossed, a look of pure misery on my face. What was I wearing? Jams (totally) and a bright yellow t-shirt that said "Life's a Beach" in huge black block letters. First, there's something about my miserable scowl and posture that is so perfect with that shirt. But second, I really felt after seeing that picture totally validated in my feelings about where I've fit into my father's life for the past 23 years. I didn't make this shit up. "Life's a beach," indeed.
8 years ago