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Funerals and Weddings

Another uncle has passed. My father has lost all four of his brothers now. I suppose it is the way it should go when you are the youngest of eight. It’s just he and one sister left. Despite (save for one) all of them living well into their 80s and beyond, it’s still sad.

Yesterday was Uncle Andy’s funeral. Though the circumstances aren’t the best, I look forward to seeing my cousins. We used to say, “Funerals and weddings.” Lately, it’s just funerals.

Uncle Andy, second from left, with my parents on their wedding day.

Uncle Andy, second from left, with my parents on their wedding day.

There was a slight hiccup before I was to make the one and a half to two-hour drive (depending on traffic). After delivering one kid to daycare, one to school and then getting my car back from Mike at his work, I decided to stop for gas in Santa Rosa at the gas station next to the Starbucks so I could get coffee for the road. When I pulled up to the pump and reached for my wallet, I realized I didn’t have my ATM card with me. Nor the one credit card I have for emergencies. Both were at home in a different purse. Crap. I sat for a second wondering if I should drive the 20 minutes back home and then decided to ask Siri where the nearest Wells Fargo Bank was. It was 9am, banks are open, and I was a little ahead of schedule.


I turned on the navigator and and drove to a Business Park in Santa Rosa where there was no sign of a Wells Fargo. In the process, and in my confusion, I was honked at by the car behind me following me into the parking lot. Okay, Jeez! I stopped my car in the lot to give Siri another chance then turned around to go. The woman driving the car that honked at me took a moment to scream obscenities at me as she walked through the parking lot. I love people.

The next Wells Fargo was in the Lucky store and it didn’t open until 10am. After asking a clerk is they could cash a personal check and being told no, my eyes began to sting with frustration. Back to the car, back to Siri, and on to the third location. An extremely friendly young teller helped my mood. I didn’t have an ID with me (also in the purse at home), but after we determined my identity through a series of questions and a correct pin number, he handed me $60 in cash. There was even fresh coffee on a table in the bank. And cookies! Thank you, Wells Fargo.

As I was pumping gas I wondered if I was meant to go at all. I wondered if all that was a sign that I should turn around and go home. Or just go to work. I thought about the two bald tires I’m driving around on. Maybe I’m going to have a blowout on Lakeville Highway and veer into the path of an oncoming semi. This is how my mind works. I’m the one on the overbooked flight wondering if there is a reason they are offering a free round trip ticket to anyone willing to give up their seat. This must mean the plane is going down. I should take the ticket. I will be interviewed on the news as the woman who survived because of a twist of fate. But I don’t take the ticket. I stay in my seat and the plane doesn’t crash. And my tire didn’t have a blowout either.

It was great seeing all of my cousins yesterday.

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Gretchen L. Kelly, Author

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