On Monday, I was checking my personal email, which I do every other day or so. SNOBFOB sent an email blast late Sunday night that her father had died and the funeral was Tuesday 10 am.
SNOBFOB has lost both parents in a two-year span. Her mother had cancer and her father was in a long decline. She was the child in charge. Painful and stressful on a daily basis. It makes my heart break. I quickly rescheduled things to make the funeral.
This time, the trip to New Jersey was not schlepic; the Never-Lost Lady came through, although when the Never-Lost Lady announces the route or street in New Jersey, there is a pause after which she switches to this crazy-sounding phone-sex voice. No, really, I am not making this up, well, because I am not that creepy.
I walked into the room reserved for family members of the deceased and saw SNOBFOB. We hugged and then she said, “Oh [Blogger], my life has been soooo bloggable these last few days. I will have to tell you.”
Sidebar: Ok, I did NOT see that comment coming. But I do hope that SNOBFOB’s thinking about how her life would appear in print on my blog somehow offered a few moments’ comic relief from the sad realities of life and loss. (And, stay tuned for those bloggable moments in future posts.)
I sat in the chapel, and an elderly — no ancient — woman stopped by my seat and said, more as a statement than a question, “we know each other, don’t we?”
Sidebar: Ok, I did NOT see that comment coming, either. 0 for 2.
After an uncomfortable pause during which I was trying to stand (out of respect), make room for her AND come up with a polite way of saying, “well, no, we have never met,” she continued, “we saw each other at [SNOBFOB’s mother’s] house and, of course, the funeral. So, we shared good times and bad together. And now here we are, sad again. I am glad we know each other.”
All I could do was take her hand and say as meaningfully as I could, “I am, too.” Because by that point, I really wished I knew her. She did not sit with me but preceded toward the front, just behind the family. I was more than a little relieved that I didn’t have to keep up a charade.
SNOBFOB gave a wonderful eulogy of a man who loved his family, did what he thought was right and stood by the people he loved. I thought of the prophet Micah’s imperative, “Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with thy G-d”. I see where SNOBFOB’s gets her sense of fundamental fairness and parameters of acceptable behavior. Strong genes.
Sidebar: But it wouldn’t be my life without a Seinfeld moment. All I can say is that since I am glad I had a rental car, so those people who followed me back to New York, erroneously thinking I was part of the processional to the graveside, can’t identify me. (And I am REALLY sorry.) OOOoops, I guess they can now.
I wish I could ease my friend’s pain. May her father, Benyomin ben Mordechai, rest in peace and his memory be a blessing.