Sometimes my life is like a bad sit com. One of the really cheesy types where you know what pathetically horrible fate is going to befall the characters before it happens, it is that predictable, but you still laugh, half heatedly, anyway ….
Today was Mickey’s funeral. 10:30am right over the other side of the city – about an hour and 15 minutes from our place so I needed to be up early and organised enough to pick up sandwiches from my parents place and still make it in time. The Baldy Boy was taking his car super super early to pick up family so I was on my own.
I was doing great…everyone up, dressed and in the car ready to go by 8:30. We had plenty of time. Off we go…. or not… the car won’t start, dead battery. Oopps… we should have thought about that as it’s an ongoing thing with the big white bus. We once left a light on and it drained the battery so it doesn’t hold charge very well any more… it is fine as long as I drive the car every day or two but it hasn’t been driven in the last week, so I wasn’t surprised to find it dead. Since the baldy boy had already left… with the jumper leads… and since our neighbor across the road had also already gone to work I had to call the RACV and wait 30 minutes for a really lovely man to come out and jump start the car before we headed off.
Ok no probs… I called my Mum to organise her to drop off the food, got in contact with the Baldy Boy to say we might be cutting it fine but we’d be there. Jumped in the car and we were off still with plenty of time…. or not.
We got as far as Sunbury and got held up by two fire engines, two ambulances and numerous police cars. Not sure what was going on but after a quick detour around whatever it was we were still making ok time.
Then the petrol light came on.. bugger! I stopped for petrol, calculating in my head how long it would take me to get there and I still thought we’d probably scrape it in…. wrong!
For a while we were doing great. Bizzy was awesome, trying to placate the screaming Muski in the back seat, sneezing and ‘wasabi–ing‘ at him and offering him the dummy till he fell asleep. The traffic was good the whole way up city link. Coming over the Bolty Bridge I read the sign that said ‘accident, right hand lane, westgate off ramp’. Damn… but still maybe I could do the left lane and be ok? Nope.. traffic was banking back well before the off ramp… executive decision made, I saw a gap and took it deciding on the beach route, which added time to our trip but not as much as being stuck in the traffic jam.
By the time we made Nepean highway I knew we were never going to make it by 10:30… probably not even by 10:45. We caught every damn red light and got stuck behind every slow driver doing stupid things and even got caught by a train a block from the funeral! Still we made it just as they were starting – thank goodness they were not on time!
I sat there listening to people speak about Mickey and thought to myself that she’d be unimpressed by my comedy of errors trip to her funeral. Mickey would never have let such disorganisation combine to make her late for such an important event. She would not have arrived, flustered, at the last minute, dragging in three half asleep kids. No, she would have been suitably early (though not too early) looking well groomed, calm and on top of things. Though I’d like to think, even despite all of that, she’d still have been pleased to know that her great grandchildren attended her funeral with much enthusiasm.
The girls are very interested in death. Mostly the mechanics of it all. What happens to your body and things like that. They have an odd idea that when you die your bones go to the museum – well not so odd when you consider there are a lot of bones in the museum, but I guess you are only likely to end up there if you are a dinosaur. They have been to several funerals in their short lives but this one was the first where they were old enough and close enough to the deceased to be able to suss out some important facts and ask some important questions.
Like the fact that they put great Nan in a box and why do they do that? That the car has to be long to fit the box in it. That cemeteries are full of flowers and ‘fairies’ (actually angels but don’t argue with two fairy mad four year olds over the difference between small winged beings ok). That they put the box, and the body into the ground and why can’t they see her bones if she is dead? Why do they have special strings on the box and oh we get to throw rose petals on the box in the hole, ace!
They were so genuinely interested and in such a loving way that it really made me smile. As they got into the car to go Zoe told me ‘fenerals (how she says funerals) are fasNInating (fascinating) Mama!). I guess it is not every one’s ‘cup of tea’ to take small children to a funeral but I am glad my girls have had the experience and that they have been such loving experiences.
I hope Mickey was looking down and smiling at her ‘fasNINated‘ great grandchildren today as well…. and on their flustered, disorganised, last minute mother too!