Monday, July 20, 2009

"Never Special," Ghoulish, pt. 4, 354 words

Mom's the only one of her generation of this family that's had a divorce. Along with her honest and blunt nature, with little need for dishonest niceties, that's made her something of the family whipping-girl, amongst her siblings. They use the divorce as one of a number of ways to try to score points off her all the time. It really doesn't help that, despite living the farthest away from Gram and Gramp, she always had the closest relationship with them. She'd make a point of talking to them every day, and visiting as often as her job allowed, sometimes more than family members that lived much closer by. I think that's where the rumors that Mom's going to raid everything of Gram's first come from. They see her spending so much time on Gram and Gramp that they can't believe there's no ulterior motive.

The funeral, when it finally comes three days after her death, is a relief. Gramp is seated in the front row, along with his children coming after him in order of age, with their spouses: my three aunts and their husbands, then Mom alone, then my uncle and his wife. We grandchildren, all ten of us, and the spouses and children of those that have them, are put in the second row. I manage to snag a seat just behind Mom, and put a hand on her shoulder briefly in reassurance. Gram's in a fairly simple blue steel casket, rails on the side for the pallbearers. Two pictures of her flank the casket, one from just a few years ago and one from shortly after her marriage to Gramp. God, she was a beautiful woman then, and the family resemblance is so sharp that she could've been one of her own daughters' sisters.

The reverend they got to perform the service is nice enough, but has a kind of droning monotone that leaves me stifling a few yawns. He recites something that feels carefully practiced, and issues a few quotes from the Bible. I think we go through the Lord's Prayer twice, but I'm running on automatic by then.

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