My sister Marcia and I went to a funeral for my cousin Maxine’s husband Irv yesterday.
It was sad because everybody was sad but it was also happy because Irv had made such an imprint on his family that you know that though he will always be missed he will only be thought of with love and affection.
I didn’t know him well. To me he was a warm funny guy that I saw at family gatherings. I liked him for that and because he made my cousin Mac very happy.
But the people who spoke at the funeral, his step children, grandchildren and his brother in law spoke of a man who lived life to the fullest. He not only played the violin and he flew a plane but he clearly spent the time and trouble becoming close to the people he loved.
I’m saying all this first of all because it’s true, and secondly because I don’t want what I have to say to say next to seem in any way disrespectful.
My cousin Barbara, Maxine’s sister, had one fucking job and that was to tell the people who were coming to the funeral when and where it was. Did she do that? You be the judge.
Now this is not a stupid woman. She is actually the one who wrote the line “In space no one can hear you scream”.
Yet she sent an email to Marcia that the funeral began at 11 o’clock and she named the cemetery.
We were there at 10:30. People started to gather at around a 10:45. There was a pretty big crowd.
We didn’t see anyone we knew and believe me that puzzled us.
Marcia questioned this but I reassured her that we hadn’t seen most of them in quite awhile so who knew how they’d changed and anyone familiar was probably at the gravesite.
So we followed along and standing at the back of the crowd straining our necks to come upon someone we knew we just got into the swing of things and tried to hear the rabbi speaking.
My sister who cries at the cutting of a cheese cake was sobbing her head off.
It wasn’t until we heard the Rabbi referring to “Howard” (who it turns out was quite a guy) that we figured it out and ran back to the office to find out where Irv and the family were.
It seems that the 11 o’clock that Barbara spoke of was at a funeral parlor a mile away.
Our ritual at this particular cemetery was at 11:45.
I wasn’t that upset because I felt that we gave Howard “Heshie” Greenberg a nice send off what with Marcia crying and all.
Speaking of Marcia, when she comes to my house I’m so happy.
She’s known as the “sweet one” in the family yet she can have a biting tongue.
I’ve told you that my dog loves visitors.
He does his best to welcome them but some people don’t appreciate his kindness.
When she woke up in the morning I asked how she slept.
“I could have slept better if I didn’t have a “hot bagel” in my bed.”
I knew who she meant but I pretended I didn’t. I just went about my business serving a gourmet breakfast.
“It wouldn’t be bad in the winter”.
Still I said nothing.
“He should get a job with the FBI. He’s so tenacious.”
I’m nothing if not a gracious hostess but I was pushed to my limit.