Monday, August 25, 2014

Wings and Things


"Laughter through Tears is my Favorite Emotion." - Truvy from Steel Magnolias

I hate funerals.  But I kind of love them too.  I love being around my family.  I love seeing the new life, and sharing that joy with my family.  For some reason when everyone comes running to a funeral, they have Time to just sit around and chat, and get caught up, the food is always good, and right now, I'm of the age, where we're all having kids, and the kids are stinky cute.  And we sit around and tell stories and laugh so hard we cry.  So sometimes good things can come from horrible ones.   

So really, Suzy's funeral was a good one.  We knew Suzy knew Jesus, we know where she is now.  That takes all the guesswork out of it.  We just are having trouble adjusting to the shock knowing that she is Gone.  And saying Goodbye to her was the hardest part of the day.  We said Goodbye at the funeral home, then had a Mass at the church across the street.  After the service there was a nice brunch bordering a golf course.  It was really lovely.  Mostly because I got to sit and talk to some of the family that I hadn't seen in 20 years.  

My cousin Tom, who everyone has called TT since he was knee high is now married and has a little one of his own.  Salvatore William (named after both TT's father and grandfather), Baby Sal.  Oh this kid is cute.  He turned 2 months old that same day, and he already had the fudgiest brown eyes ever.  He was trying to sit up, and would tell us all about ourselves.  And you know after having a screamy fusspot toddler, and a couple big kids, a small infant cry is Nothing.  

In fact, in my eyes, even a slightly fussy baby is still adorable.  
And Suzy loved this baby.  She'd gone out to meet him about a month before, and she took pictures, and showed them to us.  She was a proud Auntie!  And this baby is definitely Very Loved.  

I kind of got a picture of him with his Great Aunt Mer (my stepmom).  She's very good with babies, and he was so sweet, looks just like a beautiful blend of both his parents.  Though I didn't take many pictures of everyone that was there, I wish I'd taken more.  Lisa did though.  Maybe I'll have to snag some from her.  

I got this one of TT with our other cousin Gretchen holding Baby Sal before she had to hit the road.

But then, just as quickly, it was time for us to go.  
I got lost finding the bathrooms, and found Nicole changing Baby Sal.  He was not happy about the process, but even that was Beautiful to me.   Like I said, there's something special about being around the next generation at a funeral, that warms my heart.  And Baby Sal, oh, he just captured my heart.  

After the service, we went back to the hotel and changed.  We basically just changed our shorts, and MB and I ran to the grocery store...for hot dogs and supplies.  I bought 12 pounds of Sahlen's hot dogs.  That may last us a bit.   But they are the best hot dogs ever, and my boys have finally gotten to the point in life where they like hot dogs.  After grabbing the yahoos, we headed out to the cemetary to visit Grandma Pat and Papa.  

My boys did a bit of exploring while we checked in on Grandma Pat and Papa's graves.  
I don't know why I wanted to visit them.  I feel bad I couldn't make it to Papa's funeral when I was pregnant with Sam, and I miss Grandma Pat.  But now they are having a wonderful party, playing Skat with Suz in heaven, and that makes me smile.  I bet they gave her a helluva welcome home.  

There was no napping on this day either. 

For dinner, Uncle Paul and his wife, Linda,  invited us out to their place for a cookout.  Only, it wasn't a cookout, we ordered Pizza and Wings, and sat on their beautiful double decker deck, drinking wine, and telling stories.  They live out in the country from the Tonawandas, just about 1/2 hour out, and bordering a beautiful pumpkin farm.  They had a beautiful pool, all set up perfect for a swim.  Only we hadn't gotten the memo that we could swim.  As soon as Chris and Sam saw the pool, they started to lose their minds they wanted to swim so bad.  So we told them they could strip down to their underwear and go for a swim. 

And they swam.  And had fun.   I trusted them to not over swim their skills.  Sam isn't a strong swimmer, but he is terrified to go out of reach of the edge.  With all of us sitting and watching from the deck, we could see if anyone got into any trouble.  But they didn't.  They didn't care it was only 75 degrees outside.  They wanted to swim.  So they swam until they started to shake.  We snacked on chips and dip.  I discovered Buffalo Dip, a ranch like dip made in Buffalo.  Quite yummy!  I couldn't keep my hands out of it.  I still managed to eat plenty of pizza and wings though.  Did you know,  in Buffalo, they aren't called Buffalo Wings?  They are just wings.  I guess I'd never thought about it.  But in Buffalo, they know how to do wings.  Perfectly.  
We didn't let Jake swim.  He got to pad around on the deck with us.  And he found some Hot Wheels cars, and liked to throw them overboard, and he joined us for snacks.  Turns out he likes pizza and wings too.   

He even let Aunt Lisa hold him, without freaking out.  
He's growing up.  She calls him her little Buddha too.   

Oma was keeping guard of Jacob.  Because he learned a new trick - how to go Down the stairs.  
He's been able to go upstairs here at our home for a while, but he never tried down.  Until this deck.  He figured it out.  He went down one step, but I was able to capture his method on video for the second step! 

He's got some pretty slick moves. 
And we got to have some fun watching him. 
Again, seeing the next generation takes the sting out of funerals.  
And I'm glad I brought the boys out to NY.  They were a Joy.  Crazy, yes, always, but a Joy.

After swimming, the boys found this great swing to play on.  
They were having a wonderful time.  They were sad to leave.  For a moment, we forgot why we were there, and it was like we might come back to play another time. 

After we left, we all went to the Premiere Wine Outlet.  Aunt Judy told us that she stops there whenever she comes to town, the selection is huge and the booze is cheap.  Yeah, we went there and had a good time.  Turns out in NY, you can't sell wine and beer in the same store, so Premiere had a wine side, and a beer side. And I got to join Lisa on the wine side which had hard liquor too.  And we switched and let Eric go into the beer side.  We picked up a couple things.  But Lisa stocked up.  After evening swim and bedtime, Lisa snuck down to our room to chat.  We parked on my bed, while Jake nursed into oblivion, and whispered and talked.  She brought down half dozen or so of sample bottles.  We sampled them.  Just that sentence does not even Begin to elude to the amount of drunken silliness that resulted in 3 people drinking 6 different samples of vodka, rum, and maybe a Soco on empty stomachs.  Lisa referred to it as going to Shot City.  She even invented a song, "Take me down to Vodka Shot City, where the kids are asleep and the parents are witty..."  I couldn't remember the other verses, but they were many, and it was hysterical.  And I hadn't laughed that hard, or drunk that much in a Long Time.  

We sat around in the dark on my bed and told crazy family member stories, and by the end, we'd moved into silly Suzy stories.  It was good.  It was healing.  It was just what we needed.  But an hour later, I woke up with the worst reflux burn I'd had in years.  Not even oils could save me.  I slathered them on of course, and took a dose or two of prilosec, and maybe some tums.  I hurt the next morning.  I'm just getting too old for that.  And yet, it seemed like an appropriate Wake.  

When I go, I would want my loved ones to laugh so hard they cry or pee, or both when they sit around drinking and telling stories.