I was very close to my Auntie Tina. To the point that she was really like a grandmother to me. She watched my sister and I a lot when we were growing up. And, it was tough to say goodbye. I delivered the eulogy on Saturday and I was surprised at myself. Considering the circumstances, I didn't break down. Yes, I cried, but I was able to keep it together. Whether you believe it or not, I'm a great public speaker. It's easier for me to talk in front of 500 people than one person. I guess it's just my personality or something.
I will also say that giving out a eulogy is one of the best things you can ever do in your life. This was my second one. I gave out Nana's (paternal grandmother) back in 2002. It's the hardest and most rewarding experience in your life. It's bigger than making movies or writing in a blog. Why? Because you have the final word on someone's life. It's the time to remember that person for who they were not just to you, but to everyone else at the funeral. Granted it's impossible to sum up a life in a speech, but it's your responsibility to do it to the best of your ability.
I truly believe I observe life very well and I plan to volunteer to give out eulogies throughout my life. I don't like doing it, but I feel like it's a duty. It's the last thing I can do for some people that touched my life.
I also did some things this weekend that I never did before. Things I won't ever forget. Things I will only share with those very close to me.
It's also amazing how at a funeral (or wedding), it's one of the few times you see all your aunts, uncles, and cousins in the same room. I saw people I either never met before or I'd seen only a handful of times in my life. It makes you realize that you have a huge family really. It also made me realize that I have some really crazy full blooded Italians in my family with names like Dellorfano, Garofano, and Devito.
I don't consider myself an extremely religious person, but three odd things have happened to me since Auntie Tina's funeral on Saturday.
1. I open up the local newspaper on Saturday and see an article about a man entertaining the residents of the nursing home Auntie Tina was staying at. This is how the article ends.
One resident, a woman named Christine, reaches for his hand.The article was reported on Tuesday, the next day she died. Of course, I'm not 100% that it's her, but I really think it is. I can picture her doing that. The quote itself can be taken multiple different ways, but I know what it means to me and that's all that matters.
"Don't ever stop coming," she says.
2. I'm washing my hands in Logan airport at the bathroom on Sunday. And a song comes on the radio. Here are the lyrics:
Thanks for the times that you've given me,That's the lyrics to The Commodores' song, "Three Times a Lady". It sent a shiver down my spine that resulted in me breaking down in the bathroom.
The memories are all in my mind.
And now that we've come to the end of our rainbow
There's something I must say out loud.
3. I'm riding home from the airport on Sunday with one other woman. Guess what she was doing? Attending a funeral. She spends the majority of the ride talking on the phone about death and how to accept it.
Maybe it's all coincidence. Maybe it isn't, but that's crazy how some stuff works out. At least I think so and it really makes you wonder. Are the deceased really watching over the living? I don't have the answer, but I'd like to think so.
I'll be back in a couple of days...