Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes and more

As promised, I am going to share some quite amusing things that occurred at the funeral home during the visitation for my grandmother. Now, please don't think I am trying to be disrespectful in any manner. My grandmother enjoyed a good laugh and I'm sure these stories would more than crack her up.

Keep in mind there are 18 great-grandchildren in the family with the oldest two being 18 and 13, and the rest age 9 and below. For the majority of them, this was the first funeral visitation the had ever experienced. With the casket being open, my sister and I tried to prep our kids for what they would experience. And I'm sure my cousins did the same with their kids. We explained it was just Grandmother's body in the casket, and she was in Heaven with Jesus. What else do you say?

As we entered the viewing room, of course, most of our little ones headed straight to the casket. I did not. I am not a open casket kinda girl. I want to remember my loved ones as they were while living. Folks always say, "they just look so natural". They do not. Well all know it. Anywhoo, my mom went with the kids to the casket and talked with them saying the same things we had. "This is just Grandmother's body, she is not here..." They seemed satisfied and left the room to play together out in the hall.

As the hour long family only visitation ended, I thought we were in the clear with the little ones at the casket. I was wrong. The Princess and two of my nephews approached the casket one more time. I, again, directed my mom (YaYa) back over there. The conversation went something like this:

Nephew B (age 5): "Gwandmother is not they-ur"
Yaya: "No she is not"
Nephew B: "She is in heaven with Jesus"
Yaya: "She sure is"
Nephew B: "Why she got that scwatch on her face"
Yaya: "I don't know what that is from"
Nephew B: "Maybe she got an itch and she scwatched herself"
Yaya: "Maybe so"
Nephew B: "She's day-ud"

My mom was beside herself trying not to laugh. My nephew was being so sweet and then he just had to restate the obvious.

Another moment in the visitation room sounded a bit like this:

Cousin A (age 7ish): "Nana, are the going to bury Grandmother in that cold gray suitcase?"
Nana: "Yes, baby, that is a casket and that's what she will be buried in"
Cousin A: "OH!"
He returns to his other cousins and makes the announcement: "They ARE going to bury Grandmother in that cold gray suitcase"

Now for the grand finale of the visitation. Oh how I hate that I missed this almost debacle!

My Aunt Sue approached the casket one more time to get a closer look at the afore mentioned scratch on Grandmother's head. As she leaned a little bit closer to the casket her cell phone came out of her pocket....YES it did. And went right INTO the casket. She turned around and grabbed my mom and said "Tell me that did not just happen!" Oh but it did. The calamity began---why, oh why, did I leave early?! Papa volunteered to go after the phone and every time he got his fingers on it, it would slip on the silky material. My Uncle said he looked over there and noticed my step-dad "elbow deep in the casket." He had NO idea what was going on. Suddenly they heard "KLUNK"

Papa: "I think it just fell through a hole"
Yaya: "A hole? There better not be a hole"
Papa: *laughing*
Aunt Sue: "Let me see if I can get it"

Meanwhile, my hilarious cousins saw the whole thing happening and began calling the missing cell phone. This was about the time the funeral director shows up to help with the search and rescue! As the phone was being taken out of the casket, it began vibrating! Just in time.

The final funny of the weekend happened while at the graveside. After the song was sung and the final prayer spoken, we all gathered around the grave for one last goodbye. Some were taking photos, while others chatted in the HOT South Alabama sun. Quietly one of my cousins was looking at the beautiful copper vault lid that had my Grandmother's name with her birth and death dates. For some reason he reached down to one of the handles and "CRACK" off came the handle. Those of us who noticed it all started laughing. I couldn't decide if his face was red from the hot sun or embarrassment. It just fit in with the rest of the weekend funnies!

I thank the Lord that I am part of a family with a good sense of humor. Sure, we all were sad about my Grandmother's death, but we did not lose our sense of humor. Like I said before, my Grandmother loved a funny story and funny moments like these would have had her in stitches. I can still hear her laugh.


Teresa said...

Now that is the kind of funeral I want to have!! I am laughing out loud and I wasn't even there.

We attended a funeral for Dave's side of the family a few years ago and Lydia's cousin was fidgeting during opening music (I'm almost postive it was Christy Lane singing "One Day At A Time" - what else could it be?) so Grandpa whispered maybe they should go outside. She then loudly screamed "ARE YOU GONNA WHOOP ME?!!?!?" We.All.Lost.It.

I think God and the dearly departed are up in heaven having a grand laugh at all of us trying to be so serious.

Thanks for the giggles.

Colleen said...

Well bless you all for keeping your senses of humor in the time of your grandmother's passing. What a story about your Aunt losing her cell phone - you could write a book!

jennifer said...

Oh Tammy! That could be a play or something. So funny! Your Grandmother would have loved it all I think.

The cell phone thing was just so....TODAY.


Jennifer Raack said...

Oh my, the phone and the handle stories sound like they could be in one of the Mr. Bean movies!!! I truly believe God allows things to happen, at the strangest times, just to bring us laughter during sad or stressful times.

I'm sure your grandmother would be pleased that you shared these fun memories from her funeral. It sounds like things were just the way she would have wanted them to be!

Twice Blessed said...

Your story made me laugh...sounds like your grandmother would've had a good laugh from the whole event.

D said...

I'm laughing out loud.
That is a great story and this is a fun blog. :)