I spent almost 3 weeks in Bellingham and dare I say I had fun? I know I was there for a funeral, which isn't supposed to be "fun" but the reality is that hanging out with family IS fun and I refuse to feel guilty about it. I suppose there are families in which spending 3 weeks together at a stressful time like a funeral would be excrutiatingly uncomfortable, full of arguments and disagreements. Thank heavens my family isn't one of those.
At one point my younger brother gently accused my mom and me of actually having TOO much fun, and I had to point out that we'd already cried 3 times that day: We cried over a photo of my dad sitting in his wheelchair on one of his final days. He looked so frail, slightly slumped down, with his head cocked to one side, and a blanked wrapped around him. He was looking out the window at the bright white snowy yard and it seemed as if he was going towards the light. That photo was a real tearjerker. We also cried as she described going in to say goodbye to him one last time before they came to pick up the body. And we cried with the minister who had come over to help plan the service. So we did our share of crying.
But we also laughed and howled and hooted and snorted and had a great time together. We laughed when my two little nieces went in to say goodbye to Grandpa about 8 hours after he'd died, and one told her sister, "Come on in! He doesn't smell as bad any more!" We laughed when cat allergies caused one of my eyes to get puffy and red. Then the eyedrops I put in caused it to dilate so much I looked like I was possessed because one pupil was HUGE and one was normal (it was freaking everybody out). Everybody nearly busted their guts laughing when my #2 son serenaded us on his guitar with a performance of Buenos Tardes Amigo, complete with cat mask and fake Mexican accent. It was a highlight for all the little cousins, who couldn't stop singing that song for days afterwards. Thanks a lot, El Gato.
Yes, it was fun being in Bellingham for 3 weeks for my dad's funeral. Good times.