So after having a shitty year last year, seems like things are going a lot better for Terra. Paul and I headed out again one night so he could help her boyfriend and a friend of his move some furniture in, and while the boys were doing that, she and I went on a taco run to feed them.
Pap Pap’s funeral was that weekend. We went by my parents’ house first for some food Aunt Gina took over, then spent the rest of the afternoon at the funeral for the most part.
And that was…interesting. My grandfather was…also interesting. My aunt put it best when she said, “He was a pain in the ass, but he was our pain in the ass.” It became pretty clear pretty quickly that the Pap Pap we all knew was very different from the Pap Pap people outside of the family knew. I used to say that my two grandfathers were like opposites of each other, where my mom’s dad was a very good, caring, honest man and my dad’s dad…was not. That makes mourning weird, too, to be honest, because I did love him and he did really do a lot for us, but I also knew a very flawed side of him that made it difficult to respect him.
Outsiders, though? He was a saint. The funeral home was full of strangers who had stories of how he helped them or did something really great for them. From what I know, his generosity was selfish–he did things not for the sake of the person he helped, but he did them for his own image and reputation. He liked to boast about things like that. It’s an odd situation where you can’t deny that he truly did help people, but you can’t help but question his motives.
On the other end of the spectrum, though, was a woman he was known to have had an affair with, who came in and told my dad she almost became his stepmother. I said he should’ve asked her when.
And so with that, the funeral was everything I expected it would be, with the exception that I kind of thought my uncles would get into a fight. Uncle Eric and Dad are still besties enjoying on shitting on Uncle Clark.
For his part, though, Uncle Clark was his usual self but well-behaved. I said we’d try and go visit him more, he said he’d try and come home more. I totally understand why his brothers and even Pap Pap got frustrated with him, but I can’t totally dismiss him. I still get really frustrated with the family that does.
He wanted to go out for a drink, so we settled for the Mile Marker, mostly because it was close to where he was staying. We popped in, had a drink, then slept over at my parents’ to do it all again the next day. There was a nice little service at the funeral home, then food at the church he went to while he lived here.
There was the possibility of snow rolling in, so from church, I left with my parents for the burial near Harrisburg. We checked into our hotel and grabbed a quick dinner. My dad was cranky most of the evening for pretty obvious reasons, because Lord knows that family can’t express anything healthily.