26 January 2007

Back To Normal, Sort Of

We had my mother's funeral on Monday and it was very well attended. The odd thing was that everyone but the family sat in the back rows and there were about five empty rows between the family in the centers of the two front rows and everyone else. The flowers were quite beautiful, even though we'd included her two volunteer groups in the obituary for donations in lieu of flowers.

My one uncle, one of her brothers, sent a beautiful wreath with ribbon streamers that read "Soaring With Eagles". This so baffled the folks at the church that they checked the card very carefully to be sure it was delivered to the correct funeral. What they didn't know about her was that she had been the office manager at the Antelope Valley Turkey Growers Association plant for over 25 years. The reference was, of course, to the aphorism "It's hard to soar with eagles when you work with turkeys all day".

The service and everyone's remarks were very comforting to me. I knew she was held in very high esteem by some people, but I hadn't realized how many or how high. My cousins' eulogy and remembrances were wonderful; their remarks really resonated with everyone.

The luncheon afterward was also well attended. The menu was lasagna, tossed salad, and cake. Comfort food, in short, and it did comfort us.

We inhumed (buried) her the next day, in a very brief ceremony with only five attendees. The weather wasn't too bad on either day, actually, but it was still cooler than I liked.

My cousin from New Jersey's wife has stayed on to help me. We went over to my mother's house yesterday and she took some books and clothes. I was really pleased that the clothes fit her and were to her taste because I know she'll think of my mother every time she wears them. That means a lot to me, knowing that my mother is fondly remembered.

We went and saw a lawyer on Wednesday. We'd gotten the appointment to put our estates in order with a living trust and wills, but we spent most of the hour discussing the probate of my mother's estate. I'd bought the Nolo Press book about probating estates in CA and decided that I didn't want to do it myself. I'll be the executrix but they'll do all the work. The state has set the fees and they're very reasonable. It'll take about six weeks to set everything up and get the probate court's approval, so it should be finished up this year.

We're going to go down to Palm Desert in about two weeks. I'm just going to pack up and leave everything. It won't be long before it gets so warm there that we want to come back up here. I want a little time away before I finish clearing out her house and dealing with everything.

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