Yesterday went well. I'm actually really proud of how it all came together as a family and am so glad my kids got to experience death, grief, etc. in a healthy, normal manner. M was a mess in the morning (moaning, acting weird, etc. ), but was fine as the day progressed. D did a wonderful job in the first reading. His little voice, speaking clearly and slowly from the book of Wisdom brought tears to my eyes. He claimed all along that he was a pro and did it all the time for school masses and we certainly all believe him now. C and my cousin Rich gave lovely eulogies.
My grandfather was a remarkable man. He left home at age 16 with $8 in his pocket and hitchhiked to New York, where he met my grandmother, started his career in the music business and established his own big band orchestra where he played for presidents, kings and queens, hundreds of celebrities, and at Shea Stadium for the Mets. What we all remembered yesterday, though, was that his greatest pride and accomplishment was his family. He loved all of us so much and you could see how that flowed through the entire family and our relationships. He would have been so proud to see all of his great grandchildren playing together yesterday in our yard, loving each other and making life long bonds.
Grandpa's promo picture for one of his albums...love that smile.
Yesterday also reminded me that I can give a damn good party. Our house looked and worked great for the reception. I've given 5 big family parties in the last 5 months. Whew. My awesome neighbor (Thanks Gina!) met with the catering people while we were at mass, so all the food was ready when we got there. K is actually a great host and I thanked him profusely last night for chipping in and making the day work so smoothly. I know I complained about having to do it, but at the end of the day I was glad to do this for my dad and was really proud how I pulled it off. It's not often that I'm able to pause and give myself that pat on the back, so this felt pretty good.
Not everything was great. CA decided not to bring KT and MG to the funeral or even to the reception at our house. Layer upon layer of lies about how MG will freak out. It was really sad since they were the only great grandchildren not there and, more importantly, it was a great way to teach the kids that funerals are sad yes, but not scary. It's okay to cry. It's okay to be sad and our family and faith are there to help us through. Such a shame. Needless to say, E and M were really upset about it.
I'm exhausted this morning. It's a good kind of tired though. I'm proud of how we came together as a family, despite all the drama about the funeral logistics and CA's lunacy. I'm proud of how I was able to teach my kids a great lesson. I'm proud of being the "hostess with the mostess."
The weather is hot and sunny today, just the way I like it. We have our usual crazy day of practices, school, and work today. Seven people still need to be fed tonight and the never ending pile of laundry needs to be folded. I feel lighter, though, and a bit more able to tackle it.