Hymns, Habits and Hutterites
So it was my Grampa’s funeral on Monday. I flew to Calgary on Saturday evening on my Aeroplan points (and holy surprise of surprises they didn’t give me grief for using points!). My parents picked me up at the airport around 8 and we drove to their house in Red Deer which is about an hour and a quarter north. Ruth had taken me to the airport and she had my car, which caused me a bit of trepidation for a couple of reasons. First off, the giving of the car is a hard thing to do the first time, specially seeing as I’ve known her a relatively short time. I mean, I trust her completely and all, but it was almost like a symbolic step for me 🙂 . Not like meeting the parents, but more than the first date hehehe. Secondly, she was going to an event that night that gave rise to some old insecurities for me. So, it was like two kind of trust developing events at once. It was somehow important to me to have those, wierd as it may be, and of course it was all fine in the end.
Anyways, I stayed up fairly late saturday night watching some TV and just kind of mulling over the times I had spent with my Grampa and Grandma. I went to bed about 3 AM, and got a phone call at around 5, and then woke up around 10. So I didn’t get a huge amount of sleep, but I was pretty restless anyways. It’s always difficult for me to sleep the first night at my parents because 1: it’s too dark and 2: it’s too quiet. Being a city boy has it’s disadvantages when you’re in the country. Sunday my uncle and aunt brought Grandma over for dinner and we talked for a while and had a pretty good time; she seemed to be holding up pretty well, and that was nice to see. I had a real hard day cigarette wise…I was stressed and bummed out and tired and bored and really really wanted one. I was probably not real pleasant to be around. In the end I just told my parents I wasn’t feeling too well.
My sister called and her flight was delayed which meant she was getting in to Calgary at 1 AM. My baby brother and his fiance showed up in the mid afternoon and I got to hang with them a bit. I say baby brother cuz he’s younger, but he’s like 3 times my size, so he’s really my big brother hehe. Rose (his fiance) is a fabulous woman and I had to ask him what she sees in him lol. As my family continues it’s quest to be the complete United Nations, Rose fits in perfectly; my mother is german, my dad is english, my sister is aboriginal Canadian, I’m an almost caucasion east indian and dutch guy, my one brothers wife is Japanese and now my other brother’s fiance is black. Anyways we hung out and it was a bit easier when they showed up because I don’t talk to my brother all that much so we had lots to chat about.
I drove with my dad to pick up my sister so that he wouldn’t fall asleep or something driving for 3 hours that late at night. We were a bit early to the airport so we stopped in Airdrie, and I broke down and bought a pack of cigarettes 😦 . It did help me stay awake but man…after like 2 weeks to break down was a real bummer. We got home around 3 AM and I got a bit more sleep as I went straight to bed and then got up around 9:30; the second night at my parents is always very restful because 1: it’s so dark and 2: it’s so quiet.
Sunday was difficult. I was sad about my grandpa plus a little pissed at myself for the smoking. The service was very nice; the preacher was light and humorous and picked hyms that weren’t too heavy, and my dad gave a very nice eulogy (this was my mom’s father tho). There were a ton of people there, lots of local bentley farmers and friends of my grandparents and my parents and some family I hadn’t seen in a while. Me and my sister and brother and our cousin and a couple of other relatives were pallbearers.
One of the nicest surprises was a Hutterite family showed up. If you don’t know the Hutterites, they are a distinct society in western Canada, german (at least I think german) descended and communal. Very similar to the Amish actually. Like the Amish, u can recognize the Hutterites a mile away from their clothing. Years ago when I worked in a music store, they’d come by about once a month and they always bought harmonica’s. They are almost completely self sufficient and tend to keep mostly to themselves, tho they do visit the cities on shopping trips and such. My grandparents were good friends with this one group, and they came out. At the graveside the daughters all stood and sung a song and it was really cool; they sang very well and I actually dug the song. It was icy cold outside but they helped warm it up a bit with their cool harmonies and groovy accent. It was a moving tribute and I misted up a little standing there; these people so incredibly culturally removed from the rest of us coming out and giving their all. As neither old farmers nor Hutterites are generally viewed as particularly liberal-thinking types, it was even nicer.
I said goodbye and we went back to the church for a little lunch and socializing where i spent alot of time trying to remember who all these people who knew me were…I was a bit embarassed that I didn’t recognize the people who were our next door neighbours for like 10 years (!!!!)…they were even sitting at the same table as me. My brother and Rose live in Calgary so they took me back to the airport and we stopped in Montana’s for them to have dinner and me to have a milkshake. Ruth was cooking me dinner so I didn’t want to eat too much there, plus I wasn’t especially hungry at that point having had the snacks at the funeral a couple hours before.
Anyways, Ruth picked me up at the airport and we went to my house and hung out and had dinner. She is so sweet…she is so supportive and understanding. I gave her the ciggies I had bought so that I wouldn’t smoke them all, and let her kind of dole them out as I went back to the quitting thing again. Wednesday we turfed all the ones that were left and that was that. I soooo need to get this monkey off my back, and she’s been very helpful and supportive in that (so, thanks!!!). My resolve is back now, and it’s time to beat it once and for all. It seemed so easy at the start, and all this stressful stuff has been chipping away at my abilities to stay focussed on the goal. But, now I’m back on track, I’d like to think.
So, there u go…the completely non-relevant and non-contextual to anyone but me story of my weekend.