FOUR FUNERALS AND A WEDDING... If you look back at your childhood, you expect fun, sunny days, getting up to mischief with your friends at school. Seven short years that bring back sweet memories.
You know, if only Real Life was always like this... Seven years which began in 1966. First year Primary where you're only concerned with a love of learning and discoveries: reading, writing and arithmetic.
Don't get me wrong, to this day, I enjoy learning something new at least once a day... However, my education would be put aside, my progress ignored because by November 1966 all this would change.
A Sunday night, dreary, bleak and bitterly cold, second Mass of the day for Grand-Uncle nicknamed by his two initials L.A.
He had attended the regular morning service and later on a second mass at his Knight of Columbus gathering. The temperature had dropped later in the day. It was a penetrating cold.
Shortly after crossing the road, pain hit him squarely in the middle of his chest. He crumpled to his knees, never to awake again.
One day later, a heavily, cloud covered Monday, the first funeral as any experienced any other day, but with a difference of a grand Ceremonial that would accompany him to his final journey.
A crimson coloured metallic coffin with a fully lit Last Supper scene in the opening cover of his coffin. Two guards with swords in full regalia of a black 3 piece suit, white shirt -- a full length black cape with red satin lining completed with top hats.
Heads bowed and for a six years old, something newly discovered while overlooking this grand sight -- two wee blocks of wood are to be found below the swords for the sharp end to rest on and not destroy the funeral parlour's carpet.
A wake with a difference due to Grand-Uncle L.A., status and rank within the Knights of Columbus Association.
His funeral such a special one was covered by the local newspaper. That is where it all fell down for this wee girl. The photographer told her to place her left hand on the cold body of her deceased Grand-Uncle, to half-turn, look in the camera and... SMILE!
Yes!!! She was told to smile... it brought the assembled up in a chorus of displeasure... And the wee girl to suffer nightmares for years to come...
Part 2 to follow...