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My Dear Granny’s Casket Looked Like a Pink Cadillac

May 6th, 2009

The service was today. It was nice. What do you say to describe a funeral service? It was “okay.” It was “no one punched anyone in the nose, isn’t that cool?” “No one cursed at anyone else, righteous!” It was a good service. The ministers did not do the whole thing of, “She was a believer/she wanted you to believe/you are all heathen assholes/repent now or you won’t see her in heaven.”

I don’t like funerals or weddings or baby showers or birthday parties. I want to be a good sport. Supportive. A “partier.” But I just do not like the social things. Also my baby cousin Wacky Cousin 2.0 was cracking me up, and cracking the kids up, and Hockey God was instructing us, Don’t laugh you’ll only encourage him… but I am sorry.

Internets, I had to encourage him. I had to laugh.

He is two. He has blond, curly hair, and huge blue eyes, and was wearing a darling little sweater with patches on the elbows. He is outgoing and he is a nutbar. So when he yelled, “I’m going out the window!” followed by “I just pooped!!!” (which was extra funny because he hadn’t actually pooped he was faking us out, whew, wiping tears from eyes…) (Two-year-old humor, It Rocks.)

My kids were enchanted with him. “He is funny. Isn’t he funny? Then he did the chicken dance with us!” (Why does he know the chicken dance? Because he inherited their Chicken Dance Elmo, that’s why. I wondered where it went. To Wacky Cousin 2.0’s house, that’s where!)

I’m just being flip right now because you know why, I think. Here, I’ll put it in my son’s words:

“She was old and she was ready to die but you weren’t ready for her to go.”

No, I wasn’t. So I will keep on trying to let go, but right now, all I’m thinking about is the time we were spending the weekend with her, me, my sis, my cousin Travis in Corbett, up in the Columbia Gorge where they used to live. I found a recipe in Family Circle or Country Woman or one of her mags, and it included a recipe for the most deluxe chocolate cake I had ever seen. I asked Grandma, Can you make that?

She was all, Sure, run up to the store and get me the stuff. (This little country store my sister and cousins and I loved, right up the road.) So we did. And she baked it. And it was perfect.

That was when I knew: Baking = love.

I miss my Grandma and no, I was not ready for that fancy casket and the hymns and the slide show. No, I was not ready for that at all.

So I’m just going to pretend it was a dream. And because I can’t find a clip from the Mary Tyler Moore Show, where she goes all hysterical laughing at Chuckles the Clown’s funeral and can’t stop laughing, I leave you with this, the opening to my dad and mom’s favorite show…


  1. WackyMummy says

    How brave you are, saying goodbye to your grandma, and remembering in so much of your life. You can still find the silly and enjoy life, and from what you’ve written about your grandma, it sounds like she would enjoy that.
    Your son is wise. He must have a wise mom.
    I wish you joy this week. :)

    May 7th, 2009 | #

  2. wacky cousin says

    WC 2.0 does NOT usually act like that. I was very disappointed. And sad. I shouldn’t have taken him. I wish I had gotten to say goodbye to Grandma, but I was busy watching the bullfrog do his tricks. It’s probably bad that I feel that way, but I am really sad today that yesterday turned out the way it did.
    But I am glad that you guys got to meet him. I am also glad that there wasn’t a gypsy caravan out front, or I would have woken up this morning with a very big case of having-given-your-kid-to-gypsies regret.

    May 7th, 2009 | #

  3. Steve R. says

    WC 2.0 was a little doll, and I was glad he was there. Our kids loved him, and I was happy to bounce him on my knee and laugh with him.

    The casket was amazing. I’m always pleased that there are niches remaining in this world where classic design doesn’t go out of style.

    May 7th, 2009 | #

  4. wacky cousin says

    He’s a goofball, I love him. I know that he was just reacting to my stress. It was a hard day, and I wish there had been two of me. That way, I would be a much better parent. My favorite part was the chicken dancing. How often does THAT happen at a funeral?

    May 7th, 2009 | #

  5. LIB says

    Oh, Nanc–my heart goes out to you! Blessings, love, hugs and more blessings!

    You’re doing just the right things–remembering, sharing, FEELING. I know it hurts a lot right now, BUT that’s because you LOVED a lot.

    May 7th, 2009 | #

  6. Wacky Mommy says

    Wacky Mummy & Lib, thank you.

    Steve, just fyi. I’m fine with pine.

    Wacky Cousin, thank God you brought the baby, I would have lost my mind otherwise. He can do no wrong.

    May 7th, 2009 | #

  7. Nan says

    Small Wacky Boy must have thought “Everyone is sad. I know, I’ll make them HAPPY!” It happened for a reason. What would Gran have wanted, weeping and wailing or chuckles? You’ll be fine WM, and you’re meking me want to cry for MY Granny which is good.

    May 8th, 2009 | #

  8. WackyMommy says

    Nan, thank you. XO to you and your family and extended family, too. She would have wanted the smiles, of course. Small Wacky Cousin IS the happiest kid ever and wants everyone smiling. As the youngest ambassador of our family, this means a lot to me. Cuz we’re a surly lot.

    May 8th, 2009 | #

  9. The Other Laura says

    Nancy, I’m glad no one punched anyone in the nose – we can never manage to get past that hurtle in my family gatherings. Laughter is truly a healing thing and I’m glad you found some at such a sad sad moment.

    May 8th, 2009 | #

  10. BlackFriend says

    When the woman that raised me (not my mom) died, the funeral had moments of hysterical humor.

    She had been a checkbook Baptist. Meaning I never remember her setting foot on Third baptist but apprently her checks kept her a member in good standing.

    So her funeral was there and Pastor Brown insisted on doing the eulogy rather than us having a minister who say, actually knew her.

    Pastor Brown is a very political guy in the tone of “The community will not stand for ….blah-di-blah” So he starts the eulogy…

    I’m crying my eys out after spending time picking caskets and planning a funeral with a toddler on my hip. Then I hear “The Newt Gingriches of world would have you believe….” and the rest of eulogy was him bashing the Republicans by name and then saying “As a lifelong Democrat Sister Myldred . . . . ” It kept my mind off things.. .I nearly peed myself trying not to laugh.

    She would’ve laughed. . .so I think it’s okay. glad no one fought. That’s big stuff in my neck of the woods.

    love to ya and y’alls

    May 8th, 2009 | #

  11. WackyMommy says

    TOL and BlackFriend, thanks, ladies. Happy Mother’s Day to you both, and to all my mama readers. I had that Nirvana song running through my head during the service, “…and I swear/that I don’t have a gun/no I don’t have a gun…”

    Ah, families, ministers, fistfights, POLITICS and guns. What a winning combination.

    May 8th, 2009 | #

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