…what it will be like at your funeral? Read on before you judge me.
Its taken me a long time to write this because its caused me to do some serious reflection on my life and life in general. Plus, I wanted to do this post justice and be respectful. Its taken so long because sometimes I cant seem to get my words right. Sure I can come off with a one-liner here and there, but this is something entirely different, this is about the hardest moments endured in a human lifetime, the passing of a loved one.
I have been to many funerals Im sad to say. I lost two cousins in my teens, a great friend in high school, several neighbors, friends of friends, fellow soldiers and most importantly my Pop. My grandfather, the man I always wanted to get to know better. Dry sense of humor always observing the scene but never really interacting. He just seemed to take it all in, absorb the vibe and then out of nowhere, the funniest comment in decades. I joined the military on Sept 11th 2001 and he was there to see me graduate from boot in Nov 2001. That would be the last time I ever saw him. The last time I ever talked to him was on Thanksgiving that year. His funeral, that same December, just days before his birthday, was the hardest thing I had endured up to that point. Just when we finally had that common bond of military service and he had started opening up, all washed away. Love ya Pop. Read more…
Today was the funeral for Kelly Santoro, Shawna’s mom. It was a great ceremony and tribute to Kelly. Nico, her son Shawna’s brother, got up and read letters he had written to their mom as she was sick. It was overwhelming and touching. The whole place was sobbing at his tribute, but laughing with him as he cracked some of his dry, witty humor. They played her favorite song and I couldnt help but smile. “Sweet Home Alabama” is one hell of a tune and now it means that much more. Her brothers spoke next and were in typical hilarious form. They shared stories of times passed, lighting her barbies on fire, dousing her with a house and then hitting her with flour, or making parachutes for their GI Joes with her undies. Too much fun. They all really paid her homage. Read more…
Right now, the sun is shining, the weather seems crisp and clear, but there is this feeling of sadness lingering. Shawna’s mom finally passed the other morning and is now resting with no more pain. No matter how beautiful these last days have been, it just feels unfair in a way. You feel less lively, less eager to jump out of bed. Its somber and quiet now, but all tangled with a sense of relief. I mean this with no disrespect. Only that, her struggle had been so long and hard fought, that it was finally right that she pass with no more pain.
I had grown to admire and love Kelly, her mom. She was a fighter, full of dry humor and always good for a quip. She was always very interested in what others had to say. She wanted to help, and be involved. Quiet at times, but truly outspoken when she felt it necessary.
I hung with the family at the hospital all weekend and got to hear amazing stories from her brothers as well as other members of the family. It was refreshing. Refreshing in a sense, that they deemed me worthy enough to hear about their past. Refreshing as well, to get to know the mother of my girlfriend better.
Today is the wake, tomorrow the funeral. We are preparing now and will be over there soon. I am looking forward to seeing more of their family, hearing more stories and being there for Shawna when she needs.
Good luck today beautiful, stay strong. Ill be there when you need it. Love you Santoro and Hughes families.