Thursday, January 1, 2009

What about a karaoke funeral do you not understand?

At my 90 year old grandfather's funeral last month, I was getting alarmed at how normal it was going. The only awkward moment was when the preacher said, "Now Bill did have ONE bad habit." We all tried not to laugh because we were also in suspense about which bad habit of Granddaddy's that Ol' Preach knew about. (By the way, I admire Granddaddy. I just told you he had bad habits. He ruled!) The preacher only touched on his cigar smoking habit. And I never knew that Granddaddy traveled to Cuba twice. Once pre and once post Castro.

So as the funeral was about to wrap, it got good. And by good, I mean embarrassingly bad. The preacher said, "Before we depart, Bill's oldest son - Bill Jr. would like everyone to hear a song that he sang for his dad while we all reflect on Bill's life. " In case I haven't told you (and I haven't) My dad decided six years ago to be one of those sing-every-night karaoke guys. He's pretty sure he's going to be the next new star in Nashville. He's almost sixty. He walks with a cane. But I wish him well on that. But I will admit that throughout the three minute song that felt like 300 minutes, I kept my head down, because I could feel my family looking at me thinking I would be touched, since the song was inadvertantly about how I was such a lucky boy to have such a dad. You're about to see why:

Dad didn't get up to perform at the funeral. He had a CD of him singing a cover of that 1980's country song about how "Daddy's don't just love their children every now and then, it's a love without end, amen." It's a song about how some guy's dad teaches him to also be a great dad towards his own son. Here's the funny part: He hadn't seen one of his daughter's in four years. He hadn't seen his only son (me) in six years! But he was playing a cd of himself singing a song about how he's a great dad. I wish him well on that. The best part was that we never had a fight. And he lives somewhere within ten minutes of my mom. He just likes to be by himself and do his own thing. I kid you not: when I saw him last month at the burial for the first time in six years - I bet he thought it had only been six months. That's cool. I don't let him get to me. I like the guy. My mom said that I was the only one of his three kids that didn't get affected by his nearly complete-departure, because I had already figured out at a young age that he wasn't a big fan of me and that he just tolerated me. My sisters both got hurt in adulthood, because he actually used to spoil them from time to time, so the were set up for a let down. I was already shrugging my shoulders at his being annoyed by us when I was five. Hey, he worked hard to pay the bills and he didn't beat us. I'm cool with that. I wish him well. He's a nice guy.

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