Some might start the day by saying thank god it's Friday but I won't because I have a sad day ahead with my friend Felicia's funeral. Really, I don't even want to get out of bed. My preference is to stay covered up and warm with my dogs by my side in a cocoon of blankets and Shih-Tzus. Hidden away.
The funeral is not until this afternoon, but I couldn't bear to go into work today. I had nothing on calendar and knew I would sit in my office and mope and get nothing done. Instead, I am taking the morning off and watching TV and writing. Price is Right and Let's Make a Deal are on my must watch list. It is the best form of therapy.
No one likes funerals but I've had too many in my life. I planned the funerals for both my dad John W. Mantz Jr. and my father-in-law Alberto Pelaez (who I had known for 17 years). Funerals are mostly sad occasions that blur by, but there is always some glimmer of silver lining that peeks through. My father's eulogy about our nights at the drive-in when I was little turned into one of the first stories in my memoir. I hope today turns out that way. And that it is not just the senseless tragedy I think it is for someone to die at 26. That it all means something.
When I turned on the TV this morning, "Up Close and Personal" was on with Robert Redford and Michelle Pheiffer. The movie is a romance and the Robert Redford character dies at the end. I knew the ending but couldn't help watching all teary eyed. After it was over, I switched to Sex and the City reruns on E and of course, the episode involved a funeral. It appears that the universe is telling me that death is part of life.
At the very least, the recent death of Felicia has made me realize that spirituality is one of the pieces missing from my life. Wednesday was the beginning of Lent and when a co-worker walked by with ashes on her forehead, I dropped an F Bomb and rushed down to my mom's house to pick her up for the Ash Wednesday mass. It felt necessary for some reason.
My mom and I sat in the small church on Arrow Highway in Fontana and the priest's homily talked about how love perfects faith. It was a compelling sermon and during it, I kept looking at my mom and thinking of how hard she worked as a waitress when we were little. How she and my father paid for our catholic school with their blood, sweat and tears. And I remembered how she would take us to church every Sunday.
When we got up to take communion, my mom saw her friend and told her, "I prayed that my daughter would come to church with me today and here she is. It is a miracle."
Both my mom and I take my silver linings where we can. Everything means something.