Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Huge and Monumental vs Small and Fecal

Don't sweat the little shit.

I think I get to say things like that now that I am not a regular fixture in a pulpit. Not that I don't know dozens of ministers, priests, and rabbis who say that sort of thing on a daily basis. Nor do I know that I really get to say it now. But that nuance is some of the little shit I decided not to sweat today.

But if I had a nice roadside sign for my backyard wedding chapel that I have yet to build, it would read in fine Roman stencilling: Don't sweat the little shit.

I had 4 days off. 4 days of the rest of my life. On day 5, I was playing in my bed with the children at a luxuriously late hour, like 10. I had some nice plans for the day before I pulled my evening shift in training at a part-time job. (I'm lying on that "plans" part. I don't know what I was planning. I think I was trying to figure out how to get pizza delivery brought to me and the kids in bed.)

My mother called. She didn't invite us to swim or ask what we were doing. She did not say hello. My mother told me that her youngest sister was dead and we did not know why. I called my cousin, her son. I found out why she was dead. She had chosen, maybe accidentally maybe not, to be dead.

Five hours later there were five of us in a car to Florida in August. At some point I thought that we were the ones who had died and that post mortem reckoning had gone unexpectedly poorly. After 6 days of this, I am still not completely sure that is not the case. But eternity in Florida is no more than the usual little shit. I may be sweating, but I ain't sweating it.

My uncle is grieving in such a way that it is painful to be with him.

Meanwhile, my aunt kept a beautiful home, but not the best organized place. How dare she? My house is neither beautiful nor organized. This is why I plan to live until I am 115 because it will take me that long to clean it up.

My large extended family, many of whom I am meeting for the first time, is grieving.

I am grieving.

But I am not sweating any of that. That all has become little shit.

Why would I say such a ludicrous thing? How can I be so dismissive? What on earth would make me consider these huge, monumental issues small and fecal?

Because I am doing the funeral. I am presiding over my aunt's funeral. After she took her own life. No one will agree to speak. No one will stand with me. My uncle doesn't want anyone else.

Excuse me while I go hyperventilate.

But I am NOT sweating the little shit.

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