Monday, November 06, 2006

Funerals

No, I didn't attend a funeral this weekend. But for some reason I keep thinking of my Dad's funeral. Not my real dad mind you, my biological dad. The weirdness of it. Because that funeral was damn weird.

Hard to explain, but let me try. Cause I am just in that sort of mood. My mom had a boyfriend and then they had me. Roommate stole boyfriend and had halfsister. Mom got pissed and married room mate's dad. (Single white female has nothing on this situation!) So I had the privilege of growing up with my halfsisters/step neice's grandfather as my stepdad... but I didn't know that at the time. He was just dad. Got that? No, we are not from the hills of the south. This took place in Puyallup, Washington.

Of course, I didn't know any of this till I was fifteen, which is just a "fabulous" time to figure it out.

Fast forward 37 years. Mom leaves 85-year-old dad for biological father. Biological father gets lung cancer. (No, mom has not been overly lucky in her life) and I am attending bio fathers funeral.

Turns out the man I knew all my life as sort of a Brother in law/Uncle figure is one of the town drunks and led quite an interesting life. I have intoxicated people I don't know patting me and calling me Terrah Jean. Who the F*%# is Terrah Jean? Oh, that's me. Then there is all the drama on who is going to sit where, who should sit in front? "So and So shouldn't sit in front, she wasn't his wife, he met her first though, and look, there's Terrah Jean! Oh, little Terra Jean! Oh my, she's grown."

I ignored my mother's furious eye signals that I should sit up front with her. I wanted to stand near the back. By the exit. My half sisters had the same idea and we all stood together. Wearing sunglasses. They're the only people I know. And they called me Teri.

Then a white van pulls up. Two armed gentlemen get out and open the passenger door. A guy in a bright orange prison jumpsuit hops out. I watch, mouth open as he comes and stand next to us. The guards are there too. My teen daughter, who had the unfortunate luck to lose the coin toss and had to come with me, whispers. " Um, Mommie?"

"Yes, dear?"I answer.

"Who's the convict, Mommie? And why is he standing with us?"

"I don't know, dear." By this time I just wanted a great big huge drink. Straight up. On the rocks.

One of my half sisters leaned over to us. "That's our brother," she whispers. "Gary Junior."

I lean over to my daughter with a crazed smile. "That's your uncle, dear. Garah Junior."

I will have to talk about the wake some other time. The wake in which I actually began to believe that my name was indeed Terrah Jean, and I meet cousins that I not only didn't know that I had, but I didn't want to know, period and where my lecherous, drunken uncle gave my daughter a vintage VW painted like a Lady Bug.

Is it weird to look back on a funeral and giggle? I'm sorry that he died, but the whole bizarro experience was, well, sort of humorous.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Teri {:0

Elisabeth Naughton said...

OMG. Wow. YOu need to WRITE that! What a whacky situation (Days Of Our Lives, baby.)

Christine Keach said...

If you wrote the book, would anyone believe you?

Anonymous said...

Ahh family...the stuff that best sellers are made of!

~Ann

Jaci Burton said...

Such is the stuff great books are made from.

That's priceless.

Writing is incredible therapy, ya know ;-)

And I don't know a soul on this planet who doesn't have some oddness in their family tree. *g*

JENNA said...

Does that sound like the beginning of NEXT novel to anyone else?