Sunday, October 30, 2005

And I was supposed to be there for support......

As much as I love Halloween, I loved my grandmother more. She was a grand old lady who was VERY fond of spoiling her grandkids and Swiss Chalet. Going to Swiss Chalet that is, not spoiling it. That was saved just for us. How does one spoil a restaurant anyway? I wonder…….? As she got on in years and was not so good with the driving (signal light, no shoulder check, move or get hit) I would go visit her on Sundays and take her to church, grocery shopping and Swiss Chalet. The Egg and I was our second favourite spot and if you are ever up the escarpment in Hamilton you must go. Cheap and YUMMY. But don’t go with your grandmother if she is anything like mine was in a restaurant. No matter what she ordered, she always liked the look of mine better and would switch plates. I ate more damn open faced roast beef sandwiches while she ate my egg white omelet and home fries. The Halloween-Grandma link is that she passed away around this time of year.

As upsetting as her death was for me, it was even more traumatic for my mother and Aunt Shyla – and so it should be. Although from my performance at the funeral you wouldn’t know it. As the men of the family, my brother, my cousin John and I, we were expected to be strong and supportive for our mothers. 2 out 3, as they say, ain’t bad. Being the oldest boys on either side of the family, my brother and cousin were asked to say a few words about their grandmother. Well I was not to be left out! No sir. Not by a long shot thank-you-very much. I ate my way through enough half chicken dinners with rice to get up and say something too damn it!

While I wrote my eulogy, in the privacy of my own home, I was very composed. Each time I said it in front of the mirror it was more charming, heartfelt and witty. But the day of the funeral, charming and witty went on vacation and melodrama took over. One would expect that I would be a shoulder for my mother to cry on. Not so. Not only did she and my aunt have to carry my 190lb carcass down the aisle, they also had to help me look for my contact after I washed it out in a flood of tears. At least I caused such a scene that it kept them distracted from the rather somber atmosphere and focused on the task at hand.

My brother and cousin read beautifully. In fact, if memory serves, my brother didn’t read, he just spoke. And while he got choked up a little, he held it together. When the minister called me up I collapsed in my chair sobbing “I can’t! I just can’t!” Those five words took about three minutes and two tissues to come out. Nice.

As we didn’t intern my grandmother until the spring, I thought that enough time would have elapsed for me to say my little speech. But no. Once again, as we stood by her tombstone the waterworks started. My niece Emily, who is my grandmother reincarnated by-the-by, looked at her mother with a look of “what is up with him?” in her eyes. I managed to get through it, more to the relief of my family and the minister, than to myself. It was an awful time. But at least now when we talk about “that day” we smile and have a good laugh. Miss you grandma, and I hope you “went a fishin’”.


Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

Sorry about your grandmother. It's hard to lose someone special.

Internal growth and eternal happiness,


7:12 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home