Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Even funerals are a debacle in my family.

Last week, we had a death in our family... My cousin Shane, who was a family and hometown hero, committed suicide, and it completely devastated my dad's side of the family. He was such a great man... a stellar football player who got a full scholarship to the University of Texas and was an All-American pick his senior year, then after graduation he was drafted to the NFL and played for the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons (he even started in the Super Bowl in 1998). He had a beautiful wife and two teenage daughters. A couple of years ago he had a tumor in his brain removed. His family had noticed things were not right with him recently, he was abnormally clumsy when he had always been so coordinated, and withdrawn when he had always been so outgoing and charming. His wife thought something had resurfaced with the tumor, so she scheduled an appointment with his neurologist. That morning, they got in a normal married couple argument, nothing big, and he ended up shooting himself in their home. I was so angry at him when I found out, but once I heard the details of his personality changes, and the fact that he didn't leave a note and it was so spontaneous, I have gotten over being mad and am only sad and convinced it was 100% not him thinking in his right mind. He had it all, and there was no way he would have given everything up without there being something wrong with his mental state. I fully believe he's looking down on us in heaven now.

So the funeral was this Sunday, and I drove the two hour drive home to attend, to be there for my dad. The place was packed, tons of his former teammates flew in to attend, and it seemed like the whole town was there. I know that really meant something to his family, to show them what an impact Shane had on our small town.

Anyway, the point of this post was not for sadness. It's to show that no matter what kind of event is going on, my family will no doubt turn it into something blog-worthy. During the service, my mom was sitting to my right, and I happened to look over and she had her eyes closed. Now, you don't know the back story, but my mom's had problems with prescription pills for years and constantly falls asleep wherever she is, causing me and my brother immense embarrassment. She says she's clean now but she's said that before. I've been lied to so many times there's no way I believe her anyway. So there she is in a FUNERAL, sitting on the FRONT ROW, no less, and snoozing away like it's nappy time. I elbow her hard and she jumps up, glares at me, leans over and whispers in my ear, "I was PRAYING". Uh, yeah, ok. My aunt was full blown into her eulogy and there were no prayers being said anywhere. And before you think, well maybe she just WAS praying, you paranoid girl you!, the answer is NO WAY. This was at least the fourth time I caught her with her eyes closed, and it wasn't even the last. Anyway, thinking about that pisses me off, so moving on...

After the service, everyone was outside in the parking lot, waiting for the casket to be loaded so we could go to the gravesite. I was standing with my dad and grandfather, and here comes Mom, through a packed crowd of people, with a cigarette lit. And blowing it in people's faces. Now, I know I've blogged and TM's blogged about smoking. You know I smoke. But there is a certain smokers' etiquette, and my mom DOES NOT HAVE IT. I mean, she was holding a lit cigarette eye level with a freaking kid! In a crowd! That is a total no-no, anyone could tell you that. She is just in her own little world. So I say to her, "Jesus, Mom, get some freaking manners, you know you don't smoke in a crowd, go to the back of the parking lot or something!". She just stands there, glares at me, then stomps away. Whatever. So I go to the car later (of COURSE it was just the two of us riding together, awesome), and she's pouting like MP does when she gets in trouble. She turns around and starts crying and asks why I'm so hateful. That's what she always says, that I'm hateful. Sorry, I'm just honest, and she's overdramatic. That's my take on it, anyway. Poor pitiful mom.

So, on to the gravesite. We pull in, and start walking through the grass to where Shane will be buried. I must mention that I was wearing heels, and the weak ankle kicked in, of course. I almost ate a headstone at one point from stepping in a miniscule hole and twisting the weak ankle. Anyway, I make it to where we're going by holding tightly onto my dad like he's escorting me on homecoming court again or something. When we get there, I notice that the site is right next to a fence and a pasture. Then I notice the two donkeys hanging out on the other side. Seriously. As the preacher goes into his dialogue, a cow comes running out of nowhere and head butts one of the donkeys. And then it's on. More donkeys and cows show up, and there is mooing and neighing (whatever) and ruckus like SIX FEET AWAY from where the hundred or so of us are standing. There was like a gang fight between the farm animals, and it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Eventually, everyone started chuckling and then laughing, and it really lightened the mood. In my head I was thinking that Shane (who was a master practical joker) had something to do with it.

RIP Shane, you'll be missed...


Matter Of Fact Mommy said...

you were in your homecoming court? bitch.
oh, sorry... death, strained relationship with overly dramatic mother, etc.

i'm sure the animal fight was shane's doing and he was watching from above laughing his ass off. :)

Frank Irwin said...

Hah, MOFM, I had the same thought about the homecoming court, except for the "bitch" part. :-)

Sorry for your loss, Amber. Of course, Shane's death made the papers here in Austin.

I love the animal gangbanging!

Crystal said...

i'm sorry about your cousin. however, the fighting farm animals killed me. i didn't even know the mules had beef with the cows!