We planned to drive north for grandson David’s 21st birthday. When daughter Kate’s former father-in-law died, we took David with us for the wake and both funerals. Most folks don’t have two funerals, but Walter did. He had been a deacon in the Catholic Church for over 30 years, serving parishes on Long Island and in Connecticut. Both were well attended. John was impressed that the bishop spoke at the second funeral. Walter had been in the first class for deacons taught by the bishop. David knew Walter as a kind grandfather, because he treated his step-grandson just like the others. They drifted apart when the marriage failed and the older couple moved to Massachusetts.
It was unfortunate that David’s special birthday was the day of the first funeral. He said he didn’t want anyone to mention it until after the services were over. We went to the wake the first afternoon and to the first funeral the next day. After the service, we drove to New Jersey to have dinner with Kate and Michael. John bought a small chocolate cake for the required candle and singing Happy Birthday.
We then drove to Long Island, because the second funeral was at 9:45 the next morning.
After the second funeral, we continued with the day as it had been planned. Having an afternoon and evening, we could see only family and friends who were in the immediate vicinity. We had a delightful lunch with John’s sister Barbara and Thom and sat chatting by the pool. That evening we had dinner with friends Ruth, Al, and Karen. Al brought David into the conversation, talking about Concordia College as it had been when he went there and how things were different for David at the same college now. Several times David laughed heartily. On the way back to the hotel, David commented on what a good day it had been. It felt like the special birthday he had wanted.
The next morning we left the hotel at 5, picked up David’s clothes in New Jersey, and spent the night in Virginia. It was time to relax before going the rest of the way to NC. The fellows went out train watching while I cuddled up with the computer. I’m sure we were all equally happy with the arrangement.