Well, first thing I will say is that I'm done with funerals for a long time. A long, long time. I expected it, but of course, this whole thing made Nora's death raw all over again.
As I said before, I left here on Sunday, and stayed until Friday. The good thing was that my half-brother, who was at first only thinking that he would stay until Sunday night (he actually already had a planned visited on Sunday to see Dad) ended up staying until the service, which was Wednesday. When I first arrived, there were hugs all around and we did a lot of small talk. The thing I was most nervous about was my stepmother's reaction, and my ability to make inappropriate comments. Well, Barb was in pretty good shape. Although it was sudden, it wasn't really a HUGE surprise. I know I've mentioned before that he was in pretty bad health - diabetic, overweight, blah blah blah. And, even Barb was admitting that he was a 'hard' man.
On a side note -people brought Barb food for Sunday - Tuesday night, and I managed to get food poisoning on Monday night - I was up throwing up in the bathroom from 11 PM - 2 Am. And the nice touch for me is that when I throw up, I pass out. Barb had taken a sleeping pill and didn't hear me in there, so I'd throw up, position myself so I wouldn't hit my head, pass out, sit up again so I could throw up some more.... this went on for 3 hours. I was so thankful when it was over and I felt 100% better. I couldn't imagine having the FLU in a situation like that!
Slowly, people started arriving for the service, and that is when I started to get really frustrated. Everyone from the town they lived in was talking about how much fun he was, and how kind and thoughtful he was.... and I was really getting fed up with all the talk of 'Saint Jim'. Because, for me, growing up - his love was completely conditional. That is the most I will say, because once I get started I could write for pages, but let's just say it because very hard to hear over and over and over again about all the wonderful things my dad did for other people. By Tuesday night, I was fed up! Thankfully, my brother and I went out for some drinks alone, and we did some venting, and I felt a lot better.
But, for my stepmother's sake, it was wonderful to have the whole church packed for his service - they needed to bring in extra chairs. It was a nice memorial, and that day, most of the visitors left. I stayed for two more days, which I think was good for Barb, and then I came home. Thank god!
I got home on Friday, cried when I saw Aaron at the airport.... I just missed both him and the kids SO much. Of course, in the week I was gone, Maggie seems to have grown into a toddler, and Aaron got Cam to have the most perfect manners! I asked him if he was ready to go upstairs for his bath on Friday night, and he said 'Yes mama. Hold hands please?' So I held his hand so he could walk up the stairs, and he looked and me and said, "Tank you, mama!'. Melted my heart.