14 May, 2016

A Priest Like....

It was a beautiful funeral--I know to some that sounds weird, but really it was--the music, the flowers, just everything. Mostly it was the love that emanated from those in attendance and those who couldn't be. It was palpable--there was laughter and there were tears. It was all mixed together--like a family.  As we left the church, Chris the funeral director, said, "Why don't you just ride with me?" "Are you sure?" I asked not wanting to put him out, "You'd have to bring me back here." "It's fine," he said without adding, "I'm not an idiot; I get that."

So we set out--funeral processions in Louisville are not like those in the south; I still can't get over it. No one pulls over; you don't drive through stop lights--we were commenting on that just as Chris tried to stop a car approaching so the procession could stay together, a car I might add which came barrelling towards us (and just for the record would have hit on my side not his). Chris, "See what I mean? That car almost hit us."  "or me" I thought but didn't say.

We arrived at the cemetery; interred the ashes and were pulling out around 2:45.  "You know," I said, "My daughter gets out of school right across the street in 20 minutes.  I should just go get her and she can ride back with us so I don't have to come back." "Sure," said Chris, "Let's go get her." Then I realized I was in my cassock, my alb, and my chasuble and while I wouldn't mind walking in that way, I'm not quite sure how it would be received; plus I knew Chris wasn't feeling well and wanted to get home before taking his mother out for dinner. (You have to talk about something on the ride over; I also know all about his daughters, how he met his wife, and more....) So I said, "It's fine; I'll just come back in a few minutes. No big deal." Famous last words....

As we were driving back the car seemed to making a weird noise, but who am I to say anything? Suddenly Chris said, "I think we have a flat." At the next light he, got out and looked, "Yep, it's a  #*#*@* flat. Oh sorry Reverend--I shouldn't talk like that." "Why not?" I asked realizing I hadn't flinched but hoping he didn't notice--I do want to keep some decorum, "This is a really shitty day for you."

He pulled over; we got out and looked at the tire--he was right a @*#*@* flat. "I've got to take off these robes," I said. I got out of my robes while Chris called AAA.  He looked very frustrated. "What?" I asked. "They say it's going to be 45 minutes."  I could tell all he wanted was to get home and get a nap and the window of time was getting smaller and smaller.

"May I use your phone to call my daughter (yes contrary to popular opinion mine is not attached to my body but rather was back at the church) and then we'll just change it." But here was the problem..the only number I could remember was SK's and she was in Virginia.  No worries I called already telling myself if she didn't answer because of the strange number I would just keep calling back--eventually she would.  She did answer and I asked her to text Caroline.

Chris, "Wait you don't remember your daughter's phone number that lives here? You had to call the other daughter? Your daughter is going to have her feelings hurt you didn't remember her number." Me, "She might, but at least she got the message and knows she has to wait.  I'll offer to pay her therapy bills." (Later I told Caroline that and she responded, "Well you already do..." Think I should teach her to change a tire too.)

We started rummaging through the trunk finding all the "tools." It was not easy to find and there were no directions in the car. "I suspect most people who drive Infinity's don't change their own tires." I said, "But surely we can figure it out. One tool is missing.  Did your wife have a flat and maybe put it somewhere else?" Chris looking slightly amused, "My wife wouldn't know what a spare tire was."

We took turns lying on the ground attempting to get the bolt covers off (seriously who cares if you can see bolts on the tire which are also covered by a center wheel cover!!) We tried and tried--I mentioned I wish I had one of my pocket knives which led to a conversation about 9/11 and no longer being able to have a pocketknife key chain which led to a discussion about hunting. "You've seriously hunted?" Chris asked. At this point I was lying on the ground with 1/2 my arm behind the tire--"Yes, but not since my first time home from college.  My daddy still hunts and just bought some property in Virginia; maybe we'll get to hunt there."  I got up having unsuccessfully figured out how to get those damn bolt covers off, brushing dirt and pebbles from my knees. "Well you've got an invitation any time you want it at our farm." Chris offered.

My tire changing attire
I lowered myself to the ground again with a flat head screw driver determined to pry those suckers off. As I got situated a car pulled over.  It was Chris's wife who had come to get me back to church. I wondered if I should feel awkward since I was sprawled out on the ground in my shortish skirt, but she didn't seem phased... I really did feel badly leaving him, but I did also need to get Caroline--I was already an hour late and I only have so much money to add to therapy bills.

This morning I called the funeral home to check on how things turned out and whether he got the much needed nap. "No I didn't get the nap, but I had a helluva story to tell at dinner. I don't think I've ever met a priest like you."

I'm never sure how to take that, but I responded, "Yeah I've heard that before..."

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