Sorry it's been a while since I posted. A lot has happened in the past couple of months, so I will recap as best as I can.
May was an interesting month; Charlie graduated obedience school, I took my first trip to Europe (I will post more of that later), and then I attended the most warped memorial service ever. EVER.
So J's step-dad died in January; his mom's had a hard time of it, but has been getting by. Old Fred was a crazy man. I mean that in the nicest, most gun-toting, vietnam flashback-having, drunken stupor sorta way. When Fred was making his final arrangements, he expressed that didn't want a formal service. He wanted to be cremated, he wanted bagpipes, Taps, and just immediate family and neighbors to be around while he's "dispersed" on the hill.
Well, here's what he got:
Memorial day; there were about 15 people, in his back yard. We'd planned to plant a tree in his memory (J's mom wanted it) and then some music and food. Well, somewhere along the way, she decided she didn't want to deal with bagpipes, so she just wanted a tape of the music. J's brother's girlfriend, Jeanine, decided to just download "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes, and taps. Then she brings over her banged-up boom-box to play it on.
So we dug this hole in the ground for the tree, appropriately a Weeping Willow, and got ready for the "ceremony." Jeanine, thinking of Fred's favorite things, comes up with the fabulous idea of putting Fred in his favorite beer cans...Milwaukee's Best (that's right, the Beast).
We are getting ready for the ceremony and I realize that I can't make it through without some chemical assistance, so I pop an anti-anxiety and put Charlie on his leash (don't want the puppy eating Fred...or pissing on him).
So back to the service, everyone's solemnly standing around the hole with their cans o' Fred. Jeanine starts the CD of Bagpipes; and mom starts to cry. Then the CD starts skipping like a drunken man with hiccups. "Amaaaaaazing :hic: Grace. How :hic: sweeeeeet the :hic:..."
Now, I'm trying not to laugh and praying to God that the pill kicks in to keep me from giggling.
Then the family starts taking their turns pouring out Fred into the hole with the tree. And I'm trying to keep Charlie from running at this wonderful grey flakey stuff that they are pouring into the hole. He's all, "Play ! Play ! Play !"
Then comes the drunken man's version of Taps, and Mom and J's bro start sobbing. I was very afraid that J's mom was going to try to throw herself to the ground over the tree screaming, "Take me with you!" Thankfully that didn't happen.
Oh, and Fred, the alcoholic he was, had a wicked sense of humor and a penchant for Elvis, so someone thought it would be fitting to have a little fun with the ceremony. Once all of the ashes were spilled and the hole is being back-filled, they switch the cd to an old recording of the announcer saying, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis has just left the building."
I almost peed right there, but thankfully the drugs had kicked in. Instead of spilling ashes, I decide I will help by watering the tree; so there I am, holding a giant yellow watering can and trying to keep a rambunctious Corgi at bay...watering Fred. How's that for a mental image?
But wait, there's more! Fred, that is. So ol' mom starts handing out the remaining cans of Fred's remains and asks that people sprinkle him all over the hillside...in the wind...and there are pieces of Fred flying everywhere. I'm trying to duck for cover while keeping Charlie from eating the funny greyish flakes flying in the wind.
Wait, there's even MORE! Fred, that is. They have reserved a little bit of him and they want to spread his remains in his two favorite places. So we take the remaining can of Fred down to the Legion. On the drive, we debate the legality of spreading remains on private property, and decide it's best to be as discreet as possible.
So we pull up out front in the black SUV and J's brother runs out with this bucket o' Fred and DUMPS them in the rose garden in front of two old ladies on the porch of the legion who yell, "what was that?????" Jeff yell's "the dog.. " and jumps back in as we speed off.
We then drop by his second favorite bar and drop the last pieces of dust in their property. I say "we," but really, I was just an accessory. I sat in the car dumbfounded.
And then go back to the house and have dinner. After which I ran home, threw my clothes in the laundry, and proceeded to wash the final traces of Fred out of my hair.