Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sure, An' It Was A Great Affair

Went to a wake today, a big one. A very big one. Possibly the wake of the year, but there are still eight months to go, so I’ll hedge my bets.

Big enough to be held in the parish church, itself a sizeable structure, because no funeral home would be able to handle the crowds. Even so, the line went from the front pew, down and out the door, across the large porch, down the stairs, around the corner and down the block. It was that way when we got there and, after a long while when we finally left, it was still that way.

The person in question was the Register of Wills, for 33 years a trusted, discreet and friendly person. She knew where the bodies were buried and kept it pretty much to herself. While the courthouse might be a hothouse for scandal, she remained untouched.

Back to the wake. It was quite the joyous event; people chatted, met each other, told stories and generally acted as the Irish do when one of their kind is called yonder. It’s too bad there wasn’t an ad-hoc bar set up along the other side of the church. Someone should have thought of that.

Mother of 10, grandmother of 43, great-grandmother of 30. “And every one of them has a job at the courthouse,” a writer to the newspaper once said. Well, she did use her influence, but the kids flew on their own quickly. With her husband long deceased, she had to be the mother hen. When asked what she died of, I replied, “She was 95.”