It’s been a crazy week. And not the good kind. The LET ME OFF THIS ROLLERCOASTER kind. Monday night, I worked ridiculously late, and so I didn’t really have much time to do anything before I went to bed. On Tuesday, I got to work a little bit early because I still had a few things to do. I had been in my classroom for a couple of hours when the phone rang. I was highly irritated because it was interrupting my read aloud of a very good book. The kids were so into it, and we had a lot of really great conversation going about the story and how the characters in the book reacted with the main character. I was, as I said, irritated.

I answered the phone, and it was my brother in law. My heart sank. I knew what this call had to be. I asked a student teacher who was in the room next door to cover my class while I returned his call from my cell phone.

My gut reaction was right. On Tuesday morning, my grandad passed. Thankfully, my BIL was the EMT who was on that call, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief that it was him, at least.

It’s been a whirlwind of planning and arranging and paperwork and pictures. I have had no time to grieve. And that’s really ok, because I am not an immediate griever. I stay numb until after the rush calms down, which really made me the ideal person to handle a lot of the arrangements and such. It still hasn’t really hit me, and I doubt it will until some time next week, at the earliest.

His service was yesterday afternoon. It really was a very nice service, and I think we did pretty much what he would have wanted. His casket matches my grandmom’s fairly closely, and we were able to get him the 21 gun salute, which I think was just what he would have wanted. He reached a point the last few years where he just wouldn’t talk about what he wanted, so we had to decide from his personality and what he did with my grandmom’s. We knew he did want a Catholic service, which he had, but I learned something from this experience.

We held his funeral service at the funeral home. In retrospect, it would have been better to have held it at the church. For anyone who isn’t familiar with Catholic funerals, or for that matter, Catholic church services (Mass), there is a lot of response and interaction. I felt really bad for the priest, and I’m going to go to Mass at that church this weekend just so I can thank him and all, but he did seem a little bit thrown off during the service. I guess he didn’t realize going in that most of the people at the service were not Catholic, and did not know that they needed to respond. As a result, every time he got to a place where we were supposed to say “Amen,” he was met with near silence. Every time we were supposed to say “Lord, hear our prayers,” again, almost nothing. He did the best he could have, but I imagine that it would have been easier on him if he had known going in that there were only 4 Catholics in the room. And with there only being 4 of us, we weren’t terribly comfortable responding in those places terribly loudly. It’s odd to be the only ones in the room who are saying something… kinda like clapping alone.

I don’t generally go to that church. Growing up, it was where I went, and it was where my grandparents had gone, and my mom and aunts and uncles went there growing up. I loved it, but when I moved out, I decided to check out some of the others in the area. Sadly, I haven’t gone back to that one in years, even though it’s not terribly far away. There are just others closer that I like just fine. I have to admit that I’m excited to go this Sunday, though. It will be nice to see some of the people who I used to go to church with. I have also heard that they did a lot of remodeling a few years ago, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it looks now.

I better get off of here. I have a lot more to say, but no time. I’ll finish this up over the next few days. My uncle has been staying with me the past few days. He flew in from California, and he has to catch a flight in a little while, so I need to get him back up to Knoxville. ROAD TRIP!!

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