I love these people more than I can ever explain.
I also love the people who are attempting to photograph this gnarly bunch.
I love them more than I can ever explain.
I also love the people from this gnarly bunch who weren’t able to be here today.
I love them more than I can ever explain.
My family is everything to me. It is amazing to me how we fall back into our normal comfortable selves after a long absence.
I love how my nieces and nephews know me and can easily talk to me.
I love being teased because I am the short one…but still the oldest, mind you.
I love how happy we are to be together, no matter the circumstances.
We are at my sister Kate’s dad’s visitation, well kind of a visitation. He was cremated and there was an urn at the front of this room which didn’t even contain his ashes. This was more of a get together to honor him. I was so happy that we all could be there for Kate and remember him with funny stories and old pictures.
I have already established that I am going to live until I am 90. So when the time comes…WAY in the DISTANT future…for me to leave this world there are somethings that I have decided should happen at my “visitation”.
First of all I want a big party. Either at someone’s house or at a restaurant. I most certainly do not want it at a funeral home. I do not want a big room that smells like mothballs and has carpet that you could never tell that someone spilled something on it. I want to be cremated, and do not want any sort of symbolic urn, and the absolute LAST thing I want is an open casket. Remember I am a diva, and I don’t want the last image in your head to be of me lying dead (even a tiara and fabulous shoes won’t make that better). Please make sure you display the picture of me and Tim McGraw, our sibling Durango picture, Rich and I at our wedding, and my senior picture (the one in my argyle sweater) because in those pictures I look gooooood. I do not want rows of comfy chairs that face a lectern and a big circular wreath of flowers. I would like one bouquet of daisies (my most favorite flower). Please don’t spend money on flowers. I want you to donate that money to NAfME (National Association for Music Education). The money that goes to them will not sit in a vase and die. I don’t want any music that includes organs (no offense organists) and puts people to sleep. You know what kind of music I like so, for the love of all humanity, put it on. The food will consist of pizza, pasta, salt and vinegar potato chips, chips and salsa, guacamole, cheesecake and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The attire will be jeans and t-shirts and please have a big space for the kids to be kids.
I want people to come to my party and laugh.
I want them to look at old pictures and wonder why I ever thought that hair style was a “good look”. I want people to google Kentucky Waterfall when they look at pictures of my brothers in high school. I want people to wonder if all the mirrors in my house were broken after seeing me in certain outfits. I want them to laugh at the high socks and the short shorts, the jean jackets and the god awful jewelry. Please laugh at the blue eye shadow, feathered hair, and bright pink lip gloss. I want my permed hair and big obnoxious glasses to cause people to chuckle. I want my brother Greg to wonder how my mom had enough fabric to make herself and me matching dresses and still have enough left to upholster the couch. I want them to try to remember people from the pictures and comment on how happy I looked. I want to hear people say “wow she had the greatest smile”
I want people to tell old stories that make them all need inhalers. I want Zach to laugh at how I never knew how to use periods and commas and how sometimes I typed “to” instead of “too” but mentioning loudly that indeed I did know the difference. I want my students to remember the time that we listened to David Foster’s “Carol of the Bells”, and I danced around the room like a lunatic. I want them to talk about the moments before we went on stage and the slippers I wear before having to put on my concert shoes. I want them to tell stories about not getting the right pitches, Pizookies, crazy judges, singing songs that required oxygen masks, and paper plate awards. I want my students to remember that I loved them until it hurt, and how we felt singing and laughing together.
You all are invited to laugh about how much of control freak I was, how I worried incessantly, how you hardly got a word in edge wise, and how sometimes I shot first and asked questions later.
I want my kids to tell stories about how I talked in my sleep and almost threw Andrew down the stairs because I thought the ceiling was caving in. I want them remember our UNO games and car rides. I hope they tell stories about how I always tried to fix things, and that I was handy with tools and paint brushes. I want people to quote Christmas Vacation, Airplane, and Elf. I want them to laugh about my conversations with other drivers, how I woke them up each morning, and my chocolate chip pancakes. I want them to remember the late night conversations, how they could talk to me about anything, how much I loved Rich, and how hard I tried to be a good mom.
I don’t want a somber, dressed in black, stinky, finger sandwiches and iced tea, “visitation”.
I want everyone to walk out feeling happy, fully carb loaded, with achy sides and faces.
I want to be remembered for always looking for a reason to laugh and loving people fiercely.
You all are invited, but don’t forget your Kleenex, because I expect the tears of laughter to be flowing.