First of all, some of the pictures are up on my Flickr set. Yep. There are some humor there too. More are coming as soon as I get around to upload the rest.
It’s odd how during this very sad time for me and for my mom’s friends, we managed to find some humor along the way. Well, most of the funnies came from Team Khun Noi’s #1 Clown, Aunty Ray.
Aunty Ray, one of my mom’s best friends, had a stroke several years ago but recovered beautifully. Her Donald Duck level temper and sharp wits are still intact. (Okay, temper is less…it seems she mellows as she ages, hehe…) She has been on both receiving and doling ends of the teasing going around with the aunties, of course, to all of our delight.
Aunty Ray: I’m not old. I’m only 20!
Aunty Uan [Mom’s younger sister]: What, did you put the other 45 years in the bank to get interests?
My mom is the first one of the bunch that passed away at this age. I remembered another one of their friends died in a car accident many many many years ago.
Aunty Jim: Ray, you’re next in line because you have the same birthday as Noi.
Aunty Ray: That’s great. Everyone wants me dead already. Isn’t one stroke enough for you guys?
Aunty Sida: Wait a minute! She can’t die first.
Aunty Ray: Why not?
Aunty Sida: I have to go next. I don’t want to be last. With all the money and effort I’ll invest in all of your funerals, there won’t be any money or friends left when it’s my turn!
To limit the temptations on the monks caused by the women, any physical contacts between monks and women are prohibited. That rules also apply to appropriate way to dress when you are in the presence of monks. One of mom’s lesser friends came to the wake in a low cut shirt one evening. The next day when she returned, Aunty Ray greeted her at the door.
Aunty Ray: The wake has been cancelled today. You can go home now.
Aunty ScoopNeck: What? What happened?
Aunty Ray: We had no monks.
Aunty ScoopNeck: What do you mean?!
Aunty Ray: After you wai (bow to) the monks last night, they all had to quit being monks.
My dad is notorious for being late, taking his sweet time to get ready to go somewhere. Everything has to go according to his order if nobody presses him to move, that can take a while. So far, everyone has been quite surprised that my dad hasn’t been late to any of mom’s funeral anything.
So, after offering lunch to the monks before the cremation preparation proceedings, some folks change into the more formal wear. Like my brothers were in just white/black polos for the afternoon. They changed into the white shirts and ties for after. So, some of the aunties were going to Aunty Sida’s home to change.
Aunty Ray: Where’s your dad?
Me + Brother: He went to get changed.
Aunty Ray [panicked]: He what?? He didn’t go home, did he?
Me + Bro: Oh, no. He just went to get his jacket and tie from the car.
Aunty Ray: Oh thank Buddha! I thought if he went home, by the time he gets back, your mom would’ve been reborn already.
The voyage to scatter my mom’s ashes went well. It was a beautiful day out east. More stories and pictures tomorrow.