Saturday, July 08, 2006

Small Town News

Mama phoned to say there was a death in the family. By "in the family", I mean just barely related- related enough that you go to the funeral. But for us, that covers most of the town.

My parents attend every funeral of everyone in our family, everyone who is married to everyone in our family, everyone who used to be married to everyone in our family, and everyone who lived next door or across the street from everyone in our family (not really, but Mama would take them some food, at least!)

So, when she calls to tell me there has been a death, I usually don't panic. I know that it is highly likely that, even though the deceased qualifies to us as family, chances are that I have never met the person in my whole life.

This was the case with her recent phone call. As I suspected, it was one of those relatives that I really did not know at all. Although I had heard of her before. Let me explain how this person qualifies as family. I'll try to type slowly so you can follow along...

She is my Daddy's brother's wife's mother. (Daddy's brother is Uncle Jack. Uncle Jack married Aunt Margaret. So, Aunt Margaret's mother has passed away.)

I do not mean to sound insensitive at all. Please understand. I do sincerely sympathize with the family's pain.

Most of the time when someone calls and tells you there has been a death you ask the typical questions, "Was it an unexpected death?" "How is everyone handling it?" and "When is the funeral?"

But, as soon as Mama told me who had died I asked,"I wonder who is going to drive the hearse."

A few years ago our family had another death. It was Daddy's brother's wife's sister who had passed away. You got it! Aunt Margaret's sister! Daddy has three brothers. But, I'll save the other two for another post...

I hope you are following along ok, because it is about to get complicated.

Aunt Margaret's sister had passed away, so Mama and Daddy went to the funeral. A few days later, Mama received a call from her sister, my Aunt Barbara.

Aunt Barbara said, "Well, you didn't tell me about the funeral!!"

Mama, confused, answered, "What do you mean? You knew about the funeral."

Aunt Barbara answered,"You didn't tell me what happened."

To paint a picture of how small town this small town is, my mama's sister had the inside scoop on my daddy's brother's wife's sister's funeral through my mama's sister's husband's cousin who works at "the" funeral home. And I do mean THE.

The scoop was that my Uncle Jack drove THE hearse from the funeral to THE cemetery.
He asked THE funeral director if he could drive the hearse.
His reason for doing so was, "Well, I drove her everywhere else!"

I still don't know who drove THE hearse this time. But I am sure to find out. When I do, I'll let ya'll know.


Susanne said...

It's really late and I'm just dropping a note to say you've been tagged if you'd like to take it. Come on over and pick up the meme. I'll be back tomorrow to read your latest posts!

Susanne said...

How sweet was it that he wanted to drive to the cemetary too, 'caused he'd driven her everwhere else. That's sorta really cool in a comical kind of way! Small town living breeds the funniest characters and stories, dosen't it?

Sarah said...

I grew up in a small town (3,000 pop.), and when I moved to a larger town in college, I was shocked that my friends didn't read the obituaries in the newspaper. So I'm completely getting this post! :) (Found you through Boomama)

Everyday Mommy said...

ROFL! I am SO glad you sent this link! I'll definitely be back for more!

Tammy said...

I was blog-hoppin' and found your site ...and wow, that is SO cute! I had just posted a post on the sandwhich generation the other day, then found another gal (mommytime?) who posted a more humorous look on the same topic- then found yours!
My mom is 79 and I we have a very close relationship...but we also tend to have the funniest conversations sometimes!
And I LOVE small towns, and always wanted to live in one...just ask anyone what my favorite old tv show is and they'll tell you Andy Griffith!
Stop by and read my post when you get a chance...and I will definately be back!

Renee said...

I love your blog! My family reads the obits outloud sometimes. It must be a southern thing because they can be REALLY funny!

Trisha said...

Sounds just like my family. Everybody is uncle so and so or aunt this or that (although we aren't really related). I love the part about the hearse. Here from Boo Mama's. Drop by if yo have a chance.

Unknown said...

This was a great story. I'm glad I found your link at BooMama's.

boomama said...

Okay - for the fourth time today, I'll say this: I SWANNEE that I thought I commented on this post the first time. I think I must type the verification letters wrong and then continue with the surfing. ANYWAY...REGARDLESS...LOVE THIS POST. :-) It hits mighty close to home.

Sister said...

Hilarious! I've had similar conversations with my mama...but I don't think any of us have ever driven the hearse!
Great story.