I didn’t know if I would make it through Phyllis’ funeral. I didn’t want to pack to go to Mabank. It made her death too real. If I didn’t pack, maybe it would just be a dream. If I get too still or too quiet, the pain becomes overwhelming. It helps to have a huge crazy extended family. We all loved Phyllis. In between all the tears was a lot of laughter. My dad and her son-in-law did a great job at the service. It was hard on both of them. Phyllis and my dad had a great connection. They liked to go riding together. Dad on one of his mules. Phyllis on whatever Dad stuck her on. Sometimes his choice for her steed didn’t go so well. She hit me at my shoulder and I’m 5’4”. She had short little legs. When she was at my house before Christmas she told me about Dad putting her on one of his really big mules and she was on it for 4 hours. She was not happy with him and, of course, the way she was relating the story made me laugh till I cried. Dad told his version of what happened at the funeral. It was pretty funny too, because he had totally not thought about how uncomfortable Phyllis would be on that wide animal. Mike shared about how whacked he thought it was when Phyllis announced she wanted Dreama and him to help her put her tombstone in place. She had found out that she could save $250 by setting it herself. She had a lot of fun that day posing with her tombstone. No one at that time realized how quickly it would be used to mark her body’s final resting place.
We’re a crazy family. Thursday night I told Dreama, Suzette, and Donna that this was enough. “No more cousins dying.” Suzette said, “I’ve already told Pat she’s next.”
Laughter and knowing that Phyllis is happier in heaven then a pig in the perfect mud hole keeps us going.