Only my cousin Johnny could get away with heckling the officiant at his mother’s funeral. We were all at the grave site where her ashes were to be buried, and several people took turns saying a few words about my aunt: how she always had a smile and a kind word, and even when she fell ill she kept her spirits up.
Then it was the Deacon’s turn. “I grew up next door to the Royce* family,” he began, “and there were five girls.”
“I bet you liked that, didn’t you?” Johnny blurted out, which caused the crowd to gasp in unison.
“I- I- I was the paper boy,” the Deacon said. “I was much younger. I was the paper boy.” Over and over he defended himself.
In my cousin’s defense, besides losing his mother, his brother had died just six days prior. He was not in a great mood, and he was angry at the world.
After the service, we attended the gathering at my niece’s house. Food of all kinds, deli meat, ziti, meatballs, soup and of course cake and cookies.
The Deacon made his way to the house and announced loudly, “It’s Good Friday! You’re not supposed to eat meat!” Okay, so most of us were raised Catholic, but I thought that rule went out with the horse and buggy and besides that, do you really think my 84 year old uncle, who just lost his life partner and his son, even knows what day it is?
The Deacon filled his plate with the meatless ziti and bread. On his way out the door he was seen carrying out a huge plate of cookies and cake “to go.” So much for a solemn fast day.
To me, this is the difference between religion and relationship with God. [Okay someone chime in here about how I shouldn’t be judging him, but let’s take that offline if you really must. SueAnnPorter@yahoo.com]
Why would you want to embarrass a family who just lost two loved ones in such a short span of time, who are also, by the way, giving you free lunch? Do you really think God is happy because you didn’t eat any meat, but you hurt the feelings of the family who was already suffering?
And so, BRAVO Cousin Johnny. Don’t hold in all that anger and get stomach ulcers.
*Not their real name. You know the drill 😉