Thursday, November 01, 2007

Lesson of the day

Well here's something I didn't expect to learn today.

Driving in funeral processions is (pardon the expression) hell on your clutch. I never thought about it before but it's true, at least on hilly roads.

Angela had lived with Alex's family - at times his parents and at times with his grandmother - for the past ten years at least. She wasn't a blood relative but was, as they say, part of the furniture. Her life was hard, and long, and fortunately the end was fairly quick.

She died on Halloween night, which I'm certain would have meant nothing to her, but was buried on All Saints' Day, which I'm sure would have.

Not being a churchgoer at all, and certainly not Catholic, I found the funeral mass to be interesting, and although I know a lot of the form is predetermined, I thought the priest did a nice job with the content. He didn't know Angela or, as far as I know, the 20 or so people who gathered, but he spoke words that I think many of them will find comforting.

We were the only ones to have come in a car, so Alex walked with his mother and I drove some of the older relatives (Betty and her sister), as well as the three young children in attendance (Henry and Paola's kids, along with Mercedes). Alex's grandmother (who, I noticed, was wearing a sweater that once belonged to my grandmother) rode in the funeral car.

Like I said, driving uphill at a steady senior citizen's walking pace is just not what clutches were made for. Driving normally, the cemetery would be about two minutes from the church, but we took...well, I didn't check my watch, but for sure well over half an hour. When I caught a whiff of clutch and realized what was happening, I tried stopping and letting the walkers and the funeral car get a little ahead, but even then I wouldn't have my foot all the way off the clutch before it was time to slow or stop again.

Anyway. That's what I learned today. Well, that and some not very nice things about the morgue at the public hospital in Heredia.


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