So, I haven’t posted for a long time. No real excuse, just doing other things.
This brings me to my mother’s death and burial. First weird thing to happen was the manner of my affording the trip to Montreal for the funeral. Usually I was in the habit of doing my own and my husband’s taxes and sending the forms in to the tax department. However, that year I sent only my husband’s forms. For some reason unknown to me at the time, I kept mine aside.
My mother died April 1st (Good Friday). She had been very sick with cancer for quite some time. On the preceding Tuesday, I became almost feverishly distracted. So the following morning, I finally decided, or was driven to, take my forms in to a tax preparation office where I would be able to get an advance on my yearly rebate.
When I presented my completed forms to the gentleman who greeted me, I was told that this would take 3 working days. As this was Wednesday of Easter week, that would mean the money would be ready only on the Tuesday following Easter. I became quite agitated! That would not do at all. I had to have the money in my hand by the next day, Thursday. I insisted so strongly that the man asked what I needed the money for. He probably thought there were loan shark enforcers waiting in the wings; I had be come so frantic.
I told the man that my mother was going to die on the Friday, and I needed the money to make the trip to Montreal. Well, he was astounded and asked just how I could be so sure that she would die on Friday. Suddenly I calmed down a bit and realized just how crazy I was sounding. However I had no idea how I knew; I just knew! He agreed to make an exception for me and said I could pick up the check the next afternoon, with one stipulation – I was to return after the funeral to let him know what happened. I agreed; I cashed the check the next afternoon and purchased my plane ticket on Saturday morning. Mother had passed away on Friday. Needless to say, when I returned to the office a week later, I notified the man of my mother’s death. He was totally freaked out!
The Wake – Upon arriving at Montreal, I stayed the night with my sister. Even after retiring early, when I awoke the next morning, I still felt exhausted. My face looked paler than usual and my hair was a mess! So before attending the wake, I took my time showering, setting my hair, and applying some makeup. Satisfied that I at least looked healthy, I headed off with the rest of the family to the funeral parlor.
After mingling with the friends and relatives (some of whom I had not seen since I was a little girl), I was reintroduced to my father’s distant cousin. She looked at me and said, “Oh my dear! I never realized just how much you look like your mother”, and she cast a glance toward the coffin at the front of the room. “Especially now.”
So much for looking ‘healthy’! I knew she was being kind, but I almost choked trying to hold back an unholy fit of the giggles. With a strangled “Excuse me”, I ran to the opposite side of the room where all the coats were hanging. While I was laughing and searching my pockets for a Kleenex, my sister came over to console me. She thought I was crying. Not wanting her to see me laughing at our mother’s wake, I let her think that I needed consoling. I didn’t think she would understand the reason for my mirth.
Well, they do say ‘Pride comes before a fall’. I could just imagine my mother laughing from up above!
Aftermath – About a year later, my father decided to buy his own plot in the cemetery. Arrangements were made to have Mother’s casket exhumed (from my grandmother’s plot) to the new spot. When the grave was opened up, there was no casket – just my mother’s body. A terrible scene, to say the least! It was explained that a solid oak casket with brass handles had disintegrated in the ground! I’m not an expert in the physics of decay but that was a Lie! I was not present for this, but I was seriously upset. However I did subsequently learn that ‘organized’ crime was responsible for the theft. I have told everyone I know that this is common practice in every major city in North America.
These events dictated how we were to govern subsequent family burials.