Give me an inch and I take a week. I have been zonked of late. Saturday was my day of rest (which actually resulted in some running around that I will explain later). Sunday was the third installment of Lisa’s friends getting married and filling our weekends. Congratulations Anthony and Jen! It was a good time, even if the food was a tad on the dry side. Nevertheless, tons of dancing left us pretty tired, and that was just the start of the weekend. For that night, we drove down to my sisters to prepare for our trip to North Carolina.
Monday morning I packed myself, Lisa, my parents, Maureen, Laura and Carlos into the minivan and took off South. Since most people were already sleeping at their Memorial Day destinations, the roads were fairly clear. Unfortunately, a couple of accidents forced us to “backroad” through most of Maryland. A bit of a delay, but we still managed to pull up to the hotel in Raleigh around 5:30. From there we met up with some relatives, grabbed a drink at the bar, and dressed for the wake.
What can I say, but us Slatterys really know how to send people off. Sure, there’s some crying and people are upset with the loss. Shaun was truly a great guy – and not just in that “He’s dead so say something nice” sort of way. He’s always been a big family man and one of the friendliest people in a group filled with outgoing individuals. And for that, we celebrate his life. Aside from the teary farewells to his body and the difficulties of telling Rita how much we’ll miss him without breaking down, the wake was a typical Slattery mixer. We swapped stories, laughed, and just generally enjoyed each others’ company. There’s little difference between our family weddings and funerals.
After the wake (which included one of the absolute funniest moments ever, but I can’t share because Laura would kill me), we swung back to the hotel for a bite to eat, and then a few of us headed over to Shaun Jr’s apartment to hang out with the kids. We couldn’t stay very late, but it was a nice cap to the evening spending time with our cousins.
Fortunately the funeral wan’t until noon, which gave us some time to sleep and still have a decent breakfast. At the funeral I had the honor of being one of the pallbearers. That’s the second time I’ve ever done that. While I’ve been okay dealing with most of this, that definitely got me thinking about how much death I’ve really seen in my life. Off the top of my head I remember going to the funerals of 3 grandparents, 3 uncles, 1 sister, 1 school friend, 2 neighbors, and several friends of the family and congregation members. Coming across pictures of my sister Laura’s wedding last night, I realized that three people who were there have since passed away. Suddenly life is feeling a bit fleeting.
Back to the good times. I decided that we shouldn’t rush home, so we stayed for the luncheon after the funeral. Spending time with our family just seemed far more important than making sure we got home by midnight. And I’m glad I made that decision. We didn’t leave until after 3:30, but I was in some bizarre zone and drove the entire way home by myself. On the way down, Lisa took over for at least an hour and a half, but for some reason I didn’t need the break this time. Which is crazy considering it was an even longer drive – we went all the way up to Hoboken to drop my sister Maureen off at the PATH and then headed back to Montclair.
But I’m paying for it now. I’ve been busy with work since getting back and haven’t had a decent amount of sleep yet. Hopefully I can relax this weekend…