mom backwards

TODAY

someone from our company gave me a long hug and it almost caused me to cry at work.

i went back to work.

YESTERDAY

i heard an awesome tale and the only one i wanted to tell it to was mom.

i text my son’s coach to thank him for coming to the funeral mass. it turns out his uncle was the co-celebrant of the mass. his uncle had baptized my son at a now closed church. he also baptized my daughters, and my nieces, my goddaughter, and my other niece and nephew, my wife’s godson. he baptized them all in the church where me and many of my brothers were baptized. he was married in that same now defunct church.

i placed the last rose over her coffin at the cemetery, right over the gold cross on top of the coffin.

large print thank god, i don’t have to find my glasses. i read it. half way through, i start emotioning. push it down. push it down. don’t feel. read. just finish, read it.

the very last reading, at the cemetery, father calls me up to do it out of the blue. i’m holding an umbrella and a flower to place on the coffin. “ken, kenny, louie” father calls me now and waves me to step over from behind my concealment. oh shit. i pass of my handhelds and he bids me to do the last reading. the last reading. the last thing. the last.

some of the fog was so heavy that my passengers commented on how romantic it looked, not that kind of romantic but like something out of a movie from when they made good movies.

quick hand shake with the co-celebrant deacon of the funeral mass who has baptized all of my kids in the same baptismal font in which i was baptized.

the back of the church, after the funeral is the worst. the final load up. it is all the tears. little girl tears, grown men tears. close to the end end.

the walk out of the church is brutal. don’t look up, do not look up, don’t catch an eye. walk. out.

closing mass ceremonies, father calls us up, the brothers and spouses. the sons. under his breathe he talks about an old irish tale about losing one parishioner and gaining ten more. he counts us out and gets up to eight. i briefly consider what bad or overly good parishioners the eight are. we lay hands on the coffin and say words from a book.

after communion my niece sings and amazing son a-capaela.

father’s homily is awesome and expresses mom excellently although i don’t ever recall sarcasm from her. maybe i am too close to it.

my daughter and my god-daughter perform the readings. the same ones from dad’s funeral.

the walk in is tough. head down.

at the church, get to hug an old friend and two relatives before everything gets started. just about lose it when i hug my cousin. if i ever knew what a sister what it is her.

final words before we close her up and final touches. i don’t like the touching part.

one last check on dad, there he is, in the coffin with mom.

at the funeral home in the morning, we are always too early.

THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY

i think we had dinner at a restaurant.

drop off the family and almost throw up in the car. dinner will be fun.

finally it is over.

get out. it’s over at seven, get out, let’s go, i did it, i survived, i didn’t puke, i talked and laughed now get the fuck out.

i see a few unexpected guests, they are as uncomfortable as i am but its one of those life things that you have to get through, act like a grown up, don’t feel, just talk, let it spin.

i know you but i don’t know your name, mom would know your name, she is right there, let’s ask mom. oh.

BEFORE THAT

the same goddam room i planned dad’s funeral. the same goddam room mom and i planned her funeral. here i am again.

EASTER SUNDAY

the last thing mom said directly to me: “louie, i have something to tell you, but i can’t remember what it was.” hopefully she will remember and tell me sometime. hopefully no time soon.

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