The occasion was my sister's funeral. She had "died" on New Year's Eve officially. But when the EMT took here away, they revived her. And although she remained in a coma for several weeks, she was listed as living. What a strange situation that is for the family and close ones. For her husband, especially.
I had mourned her passing the first time I had the call that she had died. So this was really a formality, the funeral service. If you have ever gone to an open casket service, you know how uncomfortable that can be. At least it was for me. I did not want to remember her in a casket. I remember her alive and well and making me laugh. But it was her husband's wish for those who remember her so sick and ailing, that he show them what she looked like at peace.
The memorial service was headed by Father Valentine, an Irish priest that my sister loved.
Eulogies were offered by my oldest brother, Jimmy, and two of Phil's siblings.
The weather was appropriate for a burial; cold, windy and snowy. But it was brief and sweet.
We all gathered to get Phil's address (Martha's husband) as we were to meet up for food and drink at his house. Along the way it began to "spit" snow. We had heard that the Washington, D.C. area was prepping their snow plows for 8 to 10 inches of snow. But it was scheduled for after 5 PM so we thought we had time to get back before the roads got really bad. And, hey, this is north, and they are used to this stuff.
At 4:15pm, we looked out onto Phil's deck and saw that it had started to sleet. We stayed only about 15 minutes and then decided it would be best for us to make it back to the hotel. That would take about 25 minutes in good weather. Lucky for us, we made it into Bethesda, where there was quite a gridlock. Right at our turn to Hilton Garden Inn, there was a stalled bus, which caused a stop of all traffic going to that destination. It wasn't long before we inched along and finally arrived safely. On the morning news the next day, we learned that not a few motorists were stranded for up to 13 hours.
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