The memorial was a very good service. Can I say that? I don't want to appear callous or jaded, but I've been to more funerals than I care to admit. Especially for family. I come from a big family and it seems like in the past four years there have been more departures than arrivals (births) or mergers (weddings).
I made the short trip up to visit with the family and represent my side of the family tree. My mom & dad were there, but I felt that one of their sons should attend as well to show support. Honestly, with my work schedule and obligations and the projects that I have coming due, I did not have the time. But I have missed the last three funerals for the same lame excuses and I felt that I needed to go and I am glad I did. Was a long drive, stayed in a cheap hotel, missed an important presentation, but it was good to see the family and share this time with them. Life's too short to spend it at work. Family comes first.
My dad was born into a large family of 4 girls and 4 boys (in that order) back in the 20's. He is the eldest boy and, while not the oldest member, he has always been looked upon as the defactor leader of the clan. While most of the family has set down roots in the Arlington area, we moved away (considered a sin) back in the 60's. Most of the family is still there and the only times we seem to go back lately is for funerals.
Beth was married to my dad's brother (Jim) and we've been close to their family. 2 girls and 2 boys (twins). All the kids have grown up and started families on their own. Most have moved away. Jim and Beth have been married for 60 years and they were uniquely matched for each other. Jimmy has always been a very regimented type of person. Up early (ala 0400) every morning, goes for regular walks (typically at the mall), eats at specific times (must eat by 1800) and goes to bed early (2030). They even had specific meals on certain days (Wednesday was meatloaf night). Beth loved him and his routineness. She even had her own schedules (Friday was hairdresser day). At 80, she had her fair share of issues (gall stones, colon cancer, heart murmer) and she passed away while in the hospital undergoing treatment.
Her sons & daughters are helping their dad clean out some of her things and reorganize the house. After 60 years, it is hard to deal with that kind of dramatic change, but we all have it coming. While going through some of her purses and drawers, they came across a stash of breathmints. And by stash, I mean cases of brand new mints. Enough to give the entire city of Arlington fresh breath. Seems that Beth always made sure she had breathmints handy for anyone who needed it and they always were picking up a new box/case everytime they went to Costco. So, at the visitation, there were baskets of breathsavers and everyone was given a roll to take home. In spite of the sad occasion, everyone was in good spirits. We'll all miss Beth, but she is in a better place now.