Another funeral in Chicago, Part 4.

It is 7:02. No problems getting up this morning of July 21, 2013. The sun was shining in the hotel room. Time to start getting things ready for the day ahead. Remember, the wake service is TODAY. The funeral is TOMORROW. I can’t wait when all these events become YESTERDAY.

After breakfast at Les Brothers, we went to Oma’s house. Doesn’t matter it got sold, it will always be Oma’s house. I was told I could take anything I wanted. Nothing from the kitchen, but I did recover the magnets from the fridge. I also practically emptied out one of her drawers containing office supplies.

For the first time in years, I went to the hot attic. Nothing there I wanted.

Then we went downstairs to the basement. It was messy down there and the air smelled musty. I was curious about the workshop in the corner and wondered if Opa’s jacket was still hanging in the corner. It wasn’t. I opened the door to a small cabinet and saw a strange bundle of weights attached to copper wires. When I picked it up, two wires fell down to the floor. I picked them up and put them back. Remember that.

On the way up I picked up a dirty penny bearing the year 1974. Later when I went to Vic’s old bedroom, I picked up a penny there with the year 1968. Remember. The 1974 penny came from the basement and the 1968 penny came from Vic’s room.

Then we had lunch at Jimmy John’s. Actually we got some sandwiches to go and ate them at the room. Oh yeah, we went to the cemetery to visit Ida and my other relatives’ graves. Curiously the ground above Grandpa’s grave was cracked. Is he trying to get out? Or has he already escaped?

Then we picked up Lisa and Rachel and now we’re back at the motel after an episode in which I could not enter the room due to a latch lever that had descended on the door, needing the services of the handy man in order for us to gain access to the room.

Now we are getting ready for the wake service. I will now draw a line that borders my anxiety and relief. That means as I write this, I am anxiously anxious and nervous. When I come back from the wake, I will be much, much less anxious.

So let’s draw that line now. I can’t wait to get to the other side.

Here we go.

I’m standing at the line now. How do I cross over?


Ah, so this is what the other side of the Anxiety Line looks like.

On the way to the funeral home, we stopped at Oma’s house one last time to give Lisa a chance to grab anything she needed. I pounced at the chance to grab something from the attic but didn’t find anything. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to.

I grabbed a few decorative objects from the dining room but for me the biggest find of the day was in the basement. I found a dirty ping pong ball on the floor by the ping pong table. Surely this was the same ball Opa used. I grabbed it and put it in my sports jacket. Truly, the biggest find ever. When I come home I need to put Oma’s stuff in a section by itself so I can relive her memory each time I pass.

I need to describe the smell of the dining room. When the air conditioning turned on, the scent of the nearby potpourri dish begins to circulate around the room. A nice floral smell but one that adds a very uneasy mood. Think about it. A house once inhabited by Oma whose wake service was to take place later that day? I smell the uneasiness in the air.

My heart was pounding of course when we got to the funeral home. Once I got accustomed to the sight of Oma in her casket, I crossed the line of anxiety and could finally relax. Oma really looked at peace in her casket. Oh wait, not Oma herself. The very essence of Oma is gone, not even in the room occupying her remains. She is free now, no more suffering, no more pain and no more dementia. Before leaving, I pounced on the chance while alone with her and touched her hands. The last of my anxieties vaporized. I sense Oma really liked that. I’ll do it again tomorrow but first I needs ta gets some SLEEP.

To be continued…

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