09 February 2007

Happy Friday

I went to bed at 12:15 this morning. I thought that I'd get at least 7 hours of sleep.

At 6:15 I woke up to yet another report on Anna Nicole Smith. Sad, but I'm already tired of hearing about it. Fitfully, from there, I slept until 7:55. So, I'm late. Again. I'll eat lunch at my desk to make up for it. So far, I've made coffee, burned an English muffin. I now have my second English muffin with a little butter and apple butter for a change. Coffee. And, my girls, begging for yet a third cookie this morning. (They're IAMS light. The little ones. It's OK.) Just wish Cameron was here.

I went to a memorial mass last night for my friend Eric's dad. It was probably the third or fourth time I've been to a Catholic church. Weddings. Funerals.

Being brought up Southern Baptist I am usually at a loss for the parts we, the congregation, are supposed to say back to the priest during the service. I don't know the songs. So, while I stand there just taking it all in and only giving back when we're told to extend, "Peace be with you," I was glad to be there for Eric.

Chuck's namesake, Eric's older brother, Chuck, made some comments from the pulpit that embarrassed the priest, not to mention his mother and the rest of his family. The soloist was laughing, as was the organist and most of the congregation. We all know that he was trying to paint a picture of his father for us, but I'll bet his dad never said "shit" 3 times in the sanctuary. No doubt, he wouldn't have shared the story about driving by a nude beach in southern California when he said that he "wasn't into balls and bats."

It's funny. When you meet someone's family after many years of knowing them and begin associating some of the stories they've shared with you over time, you begin to feel as if you already know them. I saw how close he and his mother are. I saw a funny exchange between Eric and his sister-in-law that has to do with a night they were having dinner and he was a bit too excited about Magic Shell. I saw the residue of a lifetime of sibling rivalry. I heard stories from Eric's aunt and how she took him along with her youngest children on some pretty amazing trips to New York, Washington and California.

I am sad that I'll never have the opportunity to meet Eric's dad. But being with his family made me feel as if he was there, in spirit I suppose. I learned a few things about him. He learned Chinese for military duty after studying a year at Yale. He started out learning Russian. He was a Knight of Columbus. He loved telling jokes. He loved candy. He would eat the candy coating from Jeannine's Jordan Almonds. She'd come home to find her almonds gone and a pile of uncoated nuts in the trash.

More importantly, I learned that I should never pass an opportunity to spend time with people I care about. Even things we dread, like attending memorial services and being in situations where you know very few people can be some of the best times in life. And, of course, those situations are not about me. I'm there for them.

I need to go to work. Did I mention, "it's Friday!"

I hope you have a good one.

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