Saturday, September 17, 2005

A Very Traditional Service

I finally made it back to Center on Thursday. Apparently lots had been going on. Ed, who on Monday was saying, "If we have a service, Mom is going to haunt us," or something of the like, has decided that since we're having a service, it MUST be a TRADTIONAL one. Any thoughts we had of, "We can just have everyone sing a few of her favorite hymns and maybe Dane read a few scriptures" were thrown out the window by the drunken organist (that's Ed, for those of you who don't know my brother) and by a VERY EVIL minister/preacher/overlord/whatever-they-call-the-religious-leader-in-a-Disciples-of-Christ-church.

Five songs would be out of the question, as the tradition is two at most. I'm not even sure if they asked for five songs. It might have been four.

"The church isn't air-conditioned upstairs. We don't want to go too long. (We don't want the neighbors to think we don't know how to have a service.) (We have to get our advertisement in about our church, as it's not important to respect the dead, we just want more numbers every Sunday!) "

They last two are parenthetical, because they're the unspoken actual reasons.

Anyway, Ruth called Ed to tell him that since he knows exactly what should be done, and after turning it all over to Ruth, Wade, and Leslie, went behind their back to get the EVIL OVERLORD of the church on his side (not that it takes much, apparently, as the man isn't there to help anyone through a process, but instead wants more people to come to his church each week), he can decide how everything is going to be done--except that Dane will be reading scripture. Ed didn't answer, so she left this on his voice mail, and did it politely, according to Leslie.

Friday Ruth gets a text message from Ed, referring to her as Lady Hitler (which seems like it needs to be a song title) and saying they need to talk.

The funny part is, Ruth is the non-conflict person in our family. She doesn't freak out about it, but she majorly avoids it where possible.

So, she's upset, going over to Ed's place (which is like two blocks away), and Lelise decides to drive her, and Wade wants to go with her. I decide to go with, also.

It didn't go well. Ed tried to rationalize that since songs make people cry, that's why he didn't want too many songs. Ruth didn't have much time to cry "bulls--t", because Wade jumped in with a "Shut the f--k up" shortly afer that. But seriously, "bulls--t" needs to be cried here, because here are the five songs: Come to the Church in the Wildwood, Onward Christain Solders, Bringing in the Sheaves, Count Your Blessings, and The Old Rugged Cross. Of those five, only the fifth is anywhere close to being a "weep" song, and it's not all that close.

Well, it was loud, and ended it by threatening to go to the "Traditional" service in drag and telling Ed to keep drinking because he wasn't dead yet.

Yeah, it's bad to wish people dead. And if he counted as a person, maybe I wouldn't have wished it. Okay, he counts as a person, but he's a pickled evil person.

The funy part is, we had all sorta decided to just grin-and-bear-it. Our Aunt Rachel was due to arrive about 5 minutes after Ruth got the text message, and we were just going to suck it up for her (she was the one who pulled rank and said we had to have a service at the church in the first place).

Well, they arrived about 20 minutes after we got back home, and there was no sucking it up.

The even funnier bit is, Ruth was ready to go over to Ed's on Sunday morning to make peace, then Dane told us that at church that day Ed told LaRita Poage that we had wanted TEN songs for that service.

Evil drunk organist, I tell you. Now a LYING evil drunk organist... but the "evil" kinda covers that.

Anywho, back to Saturday, the service was okay, but the flippin EVIL OVERLORD-PREACHER-WHATEVER spoke for about twenty minutes... if not longer. And this would have been fine, had it been about Patsy. But the freakin' guy turned the last half (at least) into a stinkin' advertisement for his stinkin' church.

Granted, I've learned all churches must be evil or cowards (see earlier posts), but I thought they actually gave a crap about people who died. Maybe it's only people who died and left a large amount of money to the church.

So, instead of singing songs my mother enjoyed (and as long as he spoke, we probably could have fit three more songs in, not just two), we got to find out all about the Christian Church. Neat. Wonder what his room in hell will be like.

But Dane got to read scripture.

Oh yeah, and while the drunk organist had his back to everyone playing the first song (The Old Rugged Cross), our cousins Mike and David showed up. David broke his neck years ago and is in a wheelchair. This caused Dane and a few others to start crying, and seeing Dane cry made me start crying. So you know that drunk organist bast--d was thinking, "See, I was right. Songs make people cry!"

Whatever. Ruth is gonna talk to him while she's back there this weekend. Who knows how that will go. Mainly she's worried that in a drunken fit of self-pity he's gonna flush mom's ashes down the toilet or something.

The thing on Sunday, the thing we originally planned and Ed opted not to attend, was great. It's what I want when I'm dead. We planned for 50 and 30-some-odd showed up (I wish my Aunt Rachel and my cousins Cheryl and Karen could have stayed, as I think they would have enjoyed it), and I learned stuff about my mom I never knew. Only Peggy Swon wept while speaking, and that was okay because she kept apologizing about it, so it was sorta funny.

Whatever you want to happen while you're dead, you should probably write it down. And if you have a drunk jerk for your first-born, make it clear in some sort of legal document that he not be allowed to have anything to do with your services.

But I'm not bitter.

Several people e-mailed pictures of them wearing red over the weekend. I think I'm going to declare August 20 (Mom's birthday) as "wear-red-for-Patsy-day" every year, and have people e-mail me pics of them in red. Think anybody will?


Anonymous said...
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Joy said...

I've read all your posts. You've broken my heart and healed it over and over in your words. All your love and pain. I'm so sorry that such a death causes a family to tear each other apart instead of bringing them closer to console each other. Some of you came together in love, and I'm grateful for that. I know your Mom is too.
By the way, I have a brother like your oldest, and I have taken your warning to heart. Sadly to heart.
And I know the kind of preacher you had to contend to with. As the daughter of a minister, I'm angry and ashamed at his abuse.

You and I are at that age, Mark, where we are losing our parents. Andra and I have been talking about that. She and I love you very much. You have one of the biggest hearts I know. You've kept me in touch with some of the most precious people in my life, especially yourself. I think you've taken all the good parts of your Mom and given them to those around you. She gave the world a real gift through you.



August 20 is on my calendar.

JMP said...

"Well, it was loud, and I ended it by threatening to go to the "Traditional" service in drag and telling Ed to keep drinking because he wasn't dead yet."
Love u, Mark.