Dad’s funeral was Saturday. I understand now why people say they gain “closure” (a serviceable word that has been so over- and misused, it’s now annoying) by having a viewing, or calling hours, and funeral, wake, etc. It actually was very comforting to be hugged at least a hundred times and to hear great stories about Dad. My brother Bob and our friend and Dad’s law partner, Gary Pasqualone, gave great eulogies.
Sadly, none of the Sweet Potato Queens brought outrageously rich and fattening funeral foods, but we managed to console ourselves with the Ohio equivalent of comfort food. Note to self: start bringing side dishes (to accompany all the ham – also most welcome, by the way) or breakfast food or gooey chocolate desserts to mourners in future.
I sound flip, I know. Not everyone appreciates my somewhat irreverent humor, I’m sure, but as Popeye said, I yam whud I yam.
Dad chose the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” as the closing hymn. I have to admit, there’s something about that selection that would have caused me to stifle giggles if it had been just about anyone else’s funeral. However, in this instance it did inspire me to walk tall and proud (and alone – I thought of Miranda at her mother’s funeral on a “Sex and the City” episode – and no Carrie to jump out and accompany me) as we left.
But . . . I do feel semi “back to normal” today. Not that I’ve accomplished much of anything with work yet, to be honest, but I feel kind of guilty about feeling good. Is it too soon to feel good? If so, when is it considered appropriate to feel content again? I guess it’s okay to feel good today, and to realize I won’t necessarily be happy tomorrow or on Dad’s birthday, or Christmas, or random days any time in the years ahead when I wish I could just hear his voice on the phone, or get a hug.
Maybe I feel good because I’m alone, doing what I like best. That’s writing, by the way. First thing this morning, I found the photo of Dad I cropped and printed to use with his obituary. I put it up on my bulletin board so I can see him smiling at me as I work.
Here’s one thing I know for certain – he believed in me. He knew I can write and trusted that I have the perseverance to become a published writer. I share his entrepreneurial spirit and determination. Just a couple of his many gifts to me. When I feel like playing “spider” rather than working on stories I can pitch, I will look at his smiling face and feel him encouraging me to get cracking. To do what I have to do to achieve my dreams.
What is the saying? Something like success or inspiration is 10% luck and 90% perspiration? Some such thing. You know what I mean. I have always been lucky. Look at the family I was so fortunate to be born into, just for starters! And I’m a hard worker. Always have been. And now I’m going to work even harder to become successful at what I love doing most.
Dad knew I could do it. So do I. Love you, Dad . . . .