A Chance To Bloom

Posted: August 8, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

I don’t have a lot of “occasion” clothing. So I was rummaging around for something to wear for Fifi’s wake. I got a skirt picked out and was looking for a top. I put on a bright blue shirt but felt a little stand out ish  wearing a bright color to a funeral. But, then I thought of the type of person Fifi is and I put on my colorful earrings to match. She would have liked it.

My brother dropped my parents and myself off at the funeral home. Fifi was the only occupancy they had. There was a showing 2-5.  We went for the 7-9 showing since my mother doesn’t get home till 6. The signature book was empty so my father asked if anyone came at all. No one had. My aunt ( who lives downstairs) came a little after us.

It was sadder knowing if we didn’t go, no one would have seen Fifi off.  We sat there for the whole two  hours reminiscing about Fifi.  My mother was in tears talking to Fifi, telling her to be with Walter now ( her husband that passed away) . I sat there wishing we would have brought a beer for her coffin. Lady loved her beer. Even in the nursing home she would ask my mother to sneak a beer in her purse for her. My mother never did. Fifi used to say she was breaking out of the nursing home and would ring our door bell and we would all go to her bar for a beer ( she sold the bar years before all of this). No one had the heart to tell her, the bar was sold again and shut down and now is a rundown empty space on Jamaica  Ave.

It was an open casket and seeing her brought tears to our eyes. She was wearing her favorite lipstick, a red but light red almost pink.  It was such a Fifi thing, even when she was losing her mind she always wore that lipstick. Even though she may have missed the outline of her mouth or have lipstick on her teeth.  She had that lipstick with her even in the nursing home.

It was even sadder knowing we were the only people there. Fifi was a people person. She used to throw parties and always walk up and down the block talking to everyone. As a kid growing up we knew her as the nosy neighbor and she would report to my parents about everything we were doing on my front porch. Now, in death, she went alone.

Just like her funeral room. No flowers. No pictures. After the mess of the whole situation with the “guardian” we didn’t have time to prepare for a actual funeral. We thought she was being sent off to the city morgue. But, we think after talking to the funeral pallor people, this was her already made arrangements, not something set up from the “guardian”.  We just found out about the arrangements the day before when the nursing home contacted us to let us know arrangements had finally been made.

We wanted to bring her a single red rose. That was Fifi’s favorite. She didn’t want a bouquet of flowers. She preferred just a sole red rose. We went to two florists but both were closed.

When my aunt came into the pallor she said she parked in Fifi’s driveway and her daughter, my cousin, dropped her off.  Fifi stopped driving years ago. Should have stopped years before that. She would bang cars pulling out of her driveway.  My cousins would park on the street and every time Fifi was fixing to drive they would move their cars because we knew. When she finally gave up driving she offered her driveway to them.   They still use it.  Alongside the driveway are a bunch of flowers, used to be anyway. All of them are dead, dried out.  For the past two summers some of them struggling to come back up  but they almost always died instantly, even with tending to them.

But when my aunt got out of her car she saw the rose bush had come alive. A single red rose bloomed. My aunt wanted to clip it to bring it but we told her that morning we would bring a rose so she didn’t.

But, I think it’s more fitting to leave the rose there. They always say home is where the heart is. The day Fifi was taken out of her home, her heart never really beat the same.  It was left locked inside her house. In passing, she was reunited with her heart and the flowers now have a chance to finally bloom again.

Goodbye Fifi. No matter who moves in across the street, it will always be Fifi’s house. I hope you  Rest in Peace and are reunited with your husband and 13 siblings and alllll your cats.

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