It is 3:25 a.m. Monday morning as I write this. Day One of my dear Dad's wake is done.
It concluded at about 9:15 p.m., at which time my brother Doug told my other brother, my sister and me that the priest who will be officiating at the funeral wants some Dad-related anecdotes that he can use in his homily. He knows Dad, but not as a father, so that was what he wanted.
We went back to Doug's house, my siblings, my siblings-in-law, and my niece Christine, around 9:30 p.m., and we all started talking. And talking. And talking some more. FINALLY, at 3:15 a.m., my brother Bill said, "B'ys, I hate to break this up, but we've GOT to go..."
But... I'll tell you this... in those six hours, I've laughed and cried and had the best time doing it than I ever remember.
I'm sure that I'm no different than anyone else when I say that over the years, I've had differences of opinion with my brothers and sister, some that have sometimes seemed insurmountable. Tonight, however, proved to me that we are, first and foremost, the beloved children of parents that are both now passed on, who thought we were pretty great, even when the rest of the world might not have agreed. And by God, we thought our parents were second to none.
If I am lucky enough to EVER have as sublimely enjoyable and comforting and uniting a night ever again as we had tonight, I will be blessed indeed.
Rest in peace, Mom and Dad. You've left us in good hands - each others.