Follow Me to a Distant Land this Mountain High

Well, it was a long week but now it's almost over. Tuesday was trying, and I handed out a lot of tissues from nearby boxes to people. I was introduced to lots of distant relatives and family friends whom I don't remember any more. The viewing was.... long. Not in an especially bad way, but I felt awkward and I forgot to wear my knee brace. Heels and bad knees do not get along well. Everyone of Patrick's more immediate family that I knew hugged me as we were leaving and thanked me for "being there for Patrick" which gave me a small shock. What else am I going to do, ride off into the sunset saying, "Sorry, Toots, put on your big girl panties and deal?" I appreciate the sentiment, though.
I got a pleasing comment from Kelly, who thanked me for staying with them through the whole thing. She didn't want to talk to her friends about any of this stuff yet, so having someone around who already knew and who wasn't exactly family was a comfort to her. I was happy.
We were all up early on Wednesday and out the door by 8:15. I had my brace on this time, so it wasn't so bad wearing the heels. There was one more hour spent at the funeral home for a final viewing and for everyone to gather for the procession, and then we departed for the church. The mass was lovely, and the pastor who did it was a cheerful sort of man. You could tell he was the kind who truly enjoyed his work, but wouldn't be unpleasant towards you if you expressed contrary opinions to his faith. You know the kind of pastor I'm talking about, right? The ones who are always serious and frown-y and never laugh. This man (Father Tom) had smile lines on his face.
The drive to the graveyard was a very quiet one. We made a few awkward jokes about vodka martinis (Mrs. Cassady's favorite) and how she was probably so mad, looking down at us crying all over the place.
Patrick isn't really the type to cry. Or, rather, he doesn't cry often. He prefers to sleep off his sorrow, being of the opinion that he recovers better in the oblivion of unconsciousness. It doesn't do him any harm, so I don't try to do that thing where you hint to someone that perhaps they
should be crying, because it's tacky not to or whatever. But Wednesday morning he cried. As we were standing there, looking at the casket poised over the freshly dug grave getting ready to leave, he said something. I asked him to repeat it, because I didn't hear him.
He took a deep breath and said, "You know, I always tell her no parties while I'm not there."
I kind of smiled and said, "She is definitely up there dancing with Da and drinking her heart out. She deserves a good party now."
He looked down at me (I'm so short compared to him) and I realized he was crying. "Yeah," he said, "I guess I'll make an exception this time."
After the graveyard, most of us traveled to a place called Shannon's for a memorial lunch. There was some crying, but not much. Mostly laughter and Nana stories and just plain chatter. It was good to see Mrs. Lickfield laughing after she'd spent two days crying.
I cried a good deal, too. More than I thought I would.

Work is chugging along like normal, but knitting has fallen aside a bit. I have a sock cast on that I will take pictures of on Monday, since I have off. I actually have off on a holiday. It's a miracle. Or maybe Matt is out of his mind. I don't care, I won't complain.

Follow me to a land across the shining sea
Waiting beyond the world we have known
Beyond the world the dream could be
And the joy we have tasted

Follow me along the road that only love can see
Rising above the fun years of the night
Into the light beyond the tears
And all the years we have wasted
~Kimiko Ito "Follow Me"

1 comment:

Donna Lee said...

I'm sure Patrick's family appreciated your support. You don't have to do much, just be there. Sometimes that's enough.