tears and laughter

By: ewhite422

Aug 09 2010

Category: Uncategorized

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We cried  and laughed this morning at the funeral, as we reminisced about my Aunt Norene.  Her husband, Gene, was the sheriff of Montgomery County for a couple of decades and Norene used to cook for the prisoners.  They loved her cooking, and some claimed that they would get arrested just to eat her food!

She used to joke at family reunions that, with about a dozen people in the family who were in the funeral business, nobody better die while they were at the reunion because there would be a family feud over the body.

She always had a smile for everyone.

That is why I imagine her smiling from the great beyond, when after the graveside service, we gathered at the West Conroe Baptist Church to eat the meal that the church women so graciously provided.  I took turns sitting at different tables so that I could visit with family members.  At one table, Norene’s son, John, was chatting with cousins, Bill and Barbara Hampton.  They were talking about their experiences in the funeral business.

I said, “John, tell me again the story that you told a couple of Thanksgivings ago!”  John leaned back and proceeded to recount the story of a funeral that he presided over several years back. 

“There was a heavy set woman in her 80s who was sitting on the front row of the family section at the graveside service,” he began.  “It was a sweltering day.  My eyes scanned the crowd as I stood there in my best funeral director stance.”

“Suddenly, I noticed that the woman’s pantyhose, which I assume had originally started up around her hips, had migrated down, til the crotch was between her knees!” he told us. “I looked away, just in time to catch the preacher’s eye, and I realized he had seen the same thing!”

“We tried not to get tickled, but by the time the service was over, the pantyhose were down around her ankles!”

We were all laughing by this time.  Those of us at the table, I mean.  Not the preacher or the funeral director.

“What did you do, John?” asked our cousin, Bill.

“Well, I wasn’t going to help her pull them up!” he laughed.  “I stood in front of them, looking away, while the preacher helped her put them back in place!”

Then it was Barbara’s turn.  She and her husband own a funeral home in Midlothian, Texas.

“Well, we trained our son, Rusty, when he was just a kid to watch for the women who came out of the bathroom, making sure that they did not have their dresses hiked up from being tucked into the wasteband of their pantyhose,” she explained.  “We figured that they would not be offended if a child pointed it out, and it would save them embarrassment during the service.”

That’s when I remembered the other joke I know (besides the Forrest Gump joke I told in this blog a few weeks ago).

A man came home from church one Sunday with both sides of his face flaming red.  “What happened to your face?” demanded his wife.

“Well, I was minding my own business at church, but when we stood up to sing the ‘Doxology’, a very large woman in front of me stood up and her dress got caught between her ‘cheeks,'” he explained.

“I felt really sorry for her, and I was sure she would not want her dress that way, so I just tugged on it, til it came out!  That’s when she turned around and slapped me!”

“Well, how did you get the red mark on the other side?” his wife wanted to know.

“See, the preacher talked all about how we have to be sorry for our sins and how we have to make restitution, so when we all stood up to sing, ‘Just as I AM,’ I put her dress back where it was!”

We all enjoyed a good laugh, and I could imagine Aunt Norene smiling.

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