Well, yesterday was the final day that Jaja was laid out. The funeral started at 9:30 a.m. I was only able to attend the viewing on Tuesday from 1-2:30 as I had to pick Marisa up from school. Collin was pretty good for the most part. He was so cute because he would look at Jaja in the coffin and say, "Shhhh, Jaja's seeping." Then he would tip-toe away with his finger to his lips.
I had never been to a funeral that you actually went to church for. In Hamtramck, where most of my in-laws live, there is a little funeral home and right down the street is St. Ladislaus the church they have attended their whole lives. The pallbearers, Dave being one of them, loaded the coffin in to the hurst where we then drove about 300 yds. to the church. It truly was a beautiful Catholic ceremony. The priest actually held my attention. I love what he said about death not having the last word - that most people think of our journey here on Earth in this order - birth, life, & death giving death the last word. However, he said it should go in this order - life, death, and then resurrection or the after-life, therefore you don't give death the last word. It only has just a short, but non-monumental moment in one's life. Anyway, those words really did stick with me.
Marisa was a big girl. We had debated taking her to the funeral, but in the end I thought she could handle it. She cried when she saw me crying in the funeral home, and then she cried at the church when they were walking Jaja's coffin back to the hurst. She said she knew he was in heaven with God, but she was really going to miss him. Collin was superb in church. I could've almost forgotten he was there he was so quiet. He loves his older cousins: TJ, Ashley, Kristy and Jennifer. They were helping me watch him.
I worry for Babcia. She will be all alone after 59 years of marriage. She broke down and cried really hard right before they closed the coffin and then when she walked up for the last look. She is a sweet little thing! Darlene, her daughter and my mother-in-law, had a really hard time, too. No matter how old Jaja was (he was 91) and the life he had, that is her "daddy". She held strong, crying only periodically, but you could see the deep sadness within. She is a great daughter, an only child, who has always taken care of her parents. She will take good care of Babcia, too! My only hope is that out of loneliness, Babcia doesn't let death take her too soon.
Here's a picture of them I took around October of 2005. It was at my MIL's house celebrating the October birthdays. Babcia's birthday is October 15th, and I wanted to get some photos of them together, not knowing when Jaja's cancer was going to finally take his life. God Bless you, Jaja!!