When I arrived home from my whirlwind tour to Sydney, it was just after 2 in the morning so the house was quiet – except for Tracey thumping and grumbling her way to the front door to let me in because I’d forgotten to take my keys with me.
The next morning I was nearly bowled over by my kids when I crawled out of bed. It seems they missed me.
The funeral of a favourite uncle had an entourage of Devereauxs flying down to Sydney for the service. My brother, the most well seasoned traveler amongst us, had taken charge of getting us there on time, so I got to experience how great it is to be a kid again. It was so nice just to tag along and let someone else do all the worrying for once.
I even got in trouble for holding us up by taking too long in the loo at one point. It was sort of nice.
The only thing was, with everything going so smoothly, I felt a bit lost. We even arrived an hour early for the service and went in search of a bite to eat. That just never happens in my life.
Twenty minutes before the ceremony was due to kick off we were out front of the funeral home. No one else had arrived yet.
“Should we go in?” my sister-in-law asked.
“Hold on,” said my brother. His phone was ringing.
I only heard one side of the ensuing conversation with my sister, but it went a bit like this, “Hi! We’re here already. A cafe? Out the front of the funeral home? No. The nearest one is down the road. Where are we? At the funeral home. The address? George St. Why? What?! Oh, shit. Guys! We’re gonna need a taxi. Quick!”
“Don’t stress,” I grinned at my brother as we tried to coax our taxi driver to consider not stopping at every single yellow light, “this is the first time all day I’ve felt on familiar ground.”
I mean it was unlikely they were going to start without us. It was Mum’s brother we were there to see off, and I was doing the eulogy.
While the reason so many of my relatives were gathered together was a sad one, I have to say it was immensely satisfying to catch up with so many family members. That’s the thing with weddings, funerals, baptisms and the like, they’re a great opportunity to reconnect.
And being away from my own little family of sprogs, even if it’s only for a couple of nights, is a great opportunity for the kids to realize how much they like having their old man around.
“I really missed you, Dad,” said Master9, giving me a squeeze. I confess I got a warm fuzzy. It didn’t last. “It’s not the same around here without someone being all grumpy.”
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs”