So we returned from shopping and I immediately headed to the kitchen to get supper going. In the meantime hubby came home and headed downstairs to catch the end of a hockey game. The boys were quiet - playing downstairs, I assumed. But not so.
Suddenly my eldest strode into the kitchen wearing his Sunday suit and holding a tie in his hands.
"Mom, I need help with this."
"Oh," was my comment, "and why are you so dressed up?"
"For the funeral service, of course," he replied, with a look that said, "why else would I be dressed like this?"
I fixed the tie and returned to finishing my salad.
In the meantime, he was re-arranging the living room. Chairs were placed in a row, and once again everyone was summoned for a service to remember BJ.
My son clarified, "We need to have a service inside too... and then pickles for supper." (At many of the funerals we've been to, pickles have been served beside sandwiches). We all sat down, while my son (acting as the minister) stood behind a make-shift podium (a.k.a. the coffee table).
Again, we sang the ode to BJ, and then my son looked around at us blankly. I suggested he give a speech. He shifted back and forth on his feet.
"You know, you could say what BJ meant to you or something, " I prompted - but to no avail. My son didn't seem troubled that time was going by. He just stood there quietly, thoughtfully.
I was thinking about my potatoes that were getting ready to boil over, and after what seemed like 5 minutes, hubby stood up and said, "Well, I'm gonna go catch the rest of the period. It was tie-game and next goal probably wins."
This left my in-laws, the "preacher" and myself to finish the service.
At this point I was sure my potatoes were starting to boil, so I said, "Okay, mommy will give the speech."
I stood up and began, (something like this) "BJ was a special little kitten and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Named after his father, Bandit Jr. was born, out in the country, on April 25th and passed away peacefully, in the garden shed. He lived to be one day old.
"He was born to Phillie and Bandit, and leaves behind his brother and sister as well."
At this point, my father-in-law started sniffling and asking for a kleenex. I wasn't sure if he was tearing up because of his sympathy for his grandson, but I continued in the spirit of the moment - trying my utmost to make this seem sincere and "grown up" for my boy.
"BJ was a gentle kitten, small and helpless. His impact on our family will be remembered for years. It is with great fondness that we reflect on his soft coat - so pretty... and almost golden in colour, " I continued.
Now I was sputtering and cracking up. I could hardly contain myself and, as I looked at my father-in-law, I suddenly realized he was busting a gut too! He's a pretty reserved man, so this made the moment all the harder to contain. Before I knew it, we were all laughing - deep, gutteral, belly laughs... and my son was looking around quizzically. I don't think he was finding this funny, but the fact that all the adults were giggling uncontrollably made him begin to laugh too.
This continued until I remembered my potatoes and scurried off to the kitchen to turn down the water.
It was great to see my in-laws laugh so hard. It felt great to laugh that hard myself. I love laughing. And, although, I am not a grim person, I don't think I laugh enough. It was interesting to see that it took a funeral to get my belly shaking that day. I find it strange that sometimes that's how life is: extremes of emotion. But I guess this echoes Solomon's thoughts, "A time to weep , and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance;" (Eccl.3:4)
Hope you get a chance to enjoy some "extreme living" today!