Saturday, May 08, 2010

Take Good Care Now

I guess when they say things come in three’s, they mean everything. Good or bad, right or wrong, it seems to follow that pattern. In the case of the Mitchell family, we currently have dad going through his chemo, Uncle NDP having had major surgery on his jaw and our Uncle Gord who passed away last weekend. That last one isn’t a health problem any more per se, but it definitely precipitated it.

As indicated in my previous posts, I am not adverse to a good funeral. And as long as there is a women’s auxiliary waiting in the church basement, I am pretty much assured that it will be “good”.

Uncle Gord’s funeral had all the trimmings – CJ, having held herself together for most of the day, bursting into tears upon hearing the first note of Amazing Grace, several elders confusing my niece’s boyfriend for her brother (despite their constant hugging and hand holding) and, of course, sandwiches!

At first I was a little worried. “Immediate family” were invited to the graveyard for the internment and was confused as to whether or not that included me. Being assured that it was spouse, kids and brothers and sisters, my tummy (and therefore mind) turned to food.

The hall in the Presbyterian Church was set up just as I had hoped. Under the lovely shine of saran, I saw that which I coveted most ~ funeral sandwiches and squares. There were tuna, salmon, egg (yummy) and roast beef. Shockingly on the light side, was the much sought after cream cheese and cucumber.

Given my uncle’s popularity, I was a little uneasy when I noted that there were only four trays of the delicacies. Cabernet and I chatted as we waited for the “immediates” to return. Apparently, saran is like a magical force field, enforcing good manners in social settings. Hungry yes, but we wouldn’t dare push it aside and chow down before the family did.

Having joined us, grace over, it was go time. Plates in hand, we started up the line and then, someone waved us over to meet some long lost step-cousins children or some such thing. I know, I know, people first, things (sandwiches included) second. But come on, these were primo!

My anxiety eased when I saw the fine ladies of the auxiliary returning to replenish the depleted platters. My brave, or perhaps foolish, niece, tried some odd looking sandwich that had pink, not salmon either, but Pepto-Bismol pink, filling. It only took one bite for her to decide that it was not for her.

Odd or not, I do not waste such a treat, so I finished it for her. I have to say, at first I thought it was strawberries and something, but after spitting a cherry pit into my hand, I verified the source of said sweetness. Mother said she hadn’t had that "treat" for years and loved it as a child. “It” is cream cheese with mashed maraschino cherries. Yes, it tastes as gross as it sounds.

In the end, we all had our fill, and more importantly, it is so much easier to recognise such things on a full stomach, shared many memories of Uncle Gord and had a good ol’ visit with people we don’t get to see enough of.

Uncle Gord, you will be missed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a nice tribute to Uncle Gord. You don't give those cherry sandwiches enough credit. Missing were the cheese whiz and walnut beauties.

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I just threw up in my mouth

9:00 AM  

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