Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy 62nd Birthday—Sister Cindy!

Cindy is the greatest sister anyone could ever have! Today is her special day, and I am kicking myself for not getting to see her this past Saturday, but unfortunately—I went south, and didn't get to do the calendar signing with Kinky at Barnes and Noble-Arboretum. I do wish that I could be with Cindy today, to celebrate two things— her birthday, and me being five years younger than she is! I promised to write a funny story about us, so here goes!

Right after my loving husband, Jim, had passed away on March 3,1995, Cindy offered to drive me to the funeral home, to help me make the funeral arrangements. We had set an early appointment with the funeral director, but unfortunately—we had gotten lost. That was no big deal to us, because my entire family is forever getting lost—we can't help that we weren't wired right. We are genetically flawed, and that is why we always keep our gas tanks full. It's really no big deal.

Well, when Cindy and I finally arrived at that funeral home—we were only twenty minutes late! We were thrilled! Usually, when one of us gets lost, we're always at least thirty minutes to an hour late, or a no-show. Cindy and I had set a new family record—twenty minutes! I couldn't wait to tell Ronnie and Mom, and rub it in!

When my sister and I walked inside the depressing, decorated casket filled funeral home, the temperature inside the place—matched my refrigerator's inside temperature setting, and the vibes were not really good either—not my kind of place. It was way too dark. And, the soft playing piped in organ music—would have made a monkey commit suicide—on the spot! I thought, thank goodness they don't allow pets inside!

A tall, fat, bald, somber, soft spoken man greeted Cindy and me, and then he took us to his office. After Cindy and I sat down—he sat down behind his desk, but not real close. He was so overweight that his arms could barely reach his desk. He asked me several questions, as he took notes. I told him that Jim had wanted to be cremated, and he jotted that down, too. Then he pulled out his brand new giant, Texas Instruments' calculator, and went to crunching numbers and jellybeans. He told us how much it would cost to cook Jim, and my sister, Cindy, pulled out her checkbook, and wrote him a check for the full amount. (At the time, my finances were very low, and she had offered to loan me the money. I paid her back, after selling our embroidery business.)

After Cindy handed the man her check, we all stood up and shook hands—it was finally over, thank goodness. "I'm going to throw Jim's ashes in Lake Travis," I said, as we were fixing to leave." Jim was an avid sailor, and that is where he wants his ashes."

The man's face, showed disappointment— because he had forgotten to tell me about the laws about dumping ashes, so he asked Cindy and I to sit down, again. We sat down, and he sat—a little farther away, from his desk, I guess it was those jellybeans. Then he told Cindy and me that it was illegal to dump ashes in any public place or lakes. As he was fumbling through some papers, which I needed to sign, stating that he had told me about the ash scattering laws, I said, "I can see it now, Cindy. I'll be sitting in a Texas prison somewhere, and some old, big, tough mama, will ask me what I was in for. And, I'll have to say, 'For dumping my husband.'"

Cindy burst out laughing, I burst out laughing, and so did the once solemn man! He tried to compose himself, but couldn't, and neither could we! The more we tried to quit laughing—the more we laughed, as the soft piped in organ, grinded out 'Amazing Something!' The kind gentleman, stood up, shook hands with us, again. He then laughed with us, as he escorted us out of the building.

Two weeks later, I received a form letter from that funeral home. 'Dear Mrs. Parker, We are so sorry for the loss of your wife. We hope that you were pleased with the way...'

Their letter made me laugh out loud! I wrote on their letter, at the bottom, 'Dear Funeral Home, You did a fine job, but it was my husband—not my wife. He wore the pants in the family. Y'all have a great day. Sincerely, Cousin Nancy.' Then I mailed it back to them.

I don't know why my family always seems to find humor in funerals, etc., but I love it! I would rather laugh than cry. I wore black sweats for a month or so, and then I realized I wanted to be happy and quit crying. I knew Jim wasn't coming back, and that I needed to get on with my life, so I sold my shop, and moved to Utopia, Texas and the rest is history.

I love my sister Cindy, for helping me make it through those sad, lonely, hard times! Happy Birthday Cindy! And, thank you for being my sister! I love you so much! Tony sends you his Best.

P.S. Warning! I don't recommend eating fish out of Lake Travis—if you know what I mean!

1 comment:

DY_Goddess said...

Nancy, that's only one thing I love about you: that you can always see the bright side. Forgive me, but that story about your husband's ashes had me laughing out loud! Too funny!

Reminds me of when my Dad died and my brother and I went to make plans at the funeral home. They suggested we bring a shirt, tie & suit for him, but not bring shoes. This cracked usup, because A) I didn't figure ol' Dad would be walking anywhere anytime soon; and, B) he had been suffering from Diabetes and had both legs amputated in the year before his death. Clearly, shoes were not required, no reminder needed LOL! God bless his cotton ones, he would have laughed too.

So glad you have a wonderful Sis that could help you through that experience.

CINDY: I hope you have a super day filled with everything and everyone you love! May all your dreams and wishes come true this year!
F. xo