It's been an interesting couple of days here in the Lyons Den. The Boy turned 14 yesterday and last night, during the visitation for my father, I found a new career path should my current one go south. Funeral Bouncer. I'm telling you, this is the greatest thing ever.
My mother had fretted that no one was going to show up for my father's visitation. She missed the mark. Hundreds, I'm not kidding, literally hundreds of people showed up. People were there long before the 6:00PM start time. It was a beautiful tribute to my late father and to my mother. As the line grew increasingly long, it seemed like the conversations that people were having with my mother, who was seated along side my father's casket, kept getting longer. Seriously. So in short order, while standing along side her, I'm easing into my new role as funeral bouncer. I'm having to tell people, in my kindest way, to move it along. Hop to with the condolences. One thing I will say is that my mother drew strength from every single person who knelt at her side, or who hugged her. It was amazing. This lasted for more than three hours though. I was shredded by the time the night was over. Shredded. I will say I was enormously proud of how my whole family held up.
This morning brought another brief viewing and another round of funeral bouncer fun before Dad's funeral at 10:00AM. Again the line this morning was something else. Dad's services were beautiful. The chapel and adjacent overflow rooms were filled to capacity - yet another tribute to my Dad. Mormon funerals are an interesting thing. Not usually chock full of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. They very often look and sound like class reunions - but without the drinking, fighting, and awkward situations, for the most part. It was so good to see so many of our good old friends over the course of the last two days. Wonderful and soul-affirming. I am also indebted to my parents' friends who have been so amazing.
The service today was, as I said, beautiful. The tributes paid by my father's friends were touching and wonderful. It was my honor to give my father's life story, or eulogy, today. I hope it was what he wanted. I've been able to give him a couple of gifts, I hope, since he died a week ago. I've spoken in front of a lot of groups, both large and small, in my life, but nothing humbled me like this audience. To have my little family, my siblings, my aunts, cousins and close family friends right in front was daunting. I'm grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who made it easier to get through.
A couple of things about funerals - I don't recommend them in Arizona in the heat of the summer. It had to have been more than 100 degrees when we got to the cemetery. Brutal. Just brutal. And the stunningly patient SML wonders why I have no interest in moving back here?! On a more favorable note - the funeral potato is an awesome thing to serve. Who knew that with stuff you've got sitting around - potatoes, cheese, corn flakes, cream of mushroom soup, and a few other surprises and a baking dish, you've got yourself some deliciousness.
Oh funeral potato?! Is there no end to your goodness?!
The day is nearly done. I'm grateful for its gifts. I'm saddened it had to happen. I'm ready to help my mom do what she wants to do. I'm also ready to sleep for a really, really long time.