Today's "Note from the Universe" reads like this....
"Of course, you can't control other people. Not even a little; not a smidge. Every man and woman is their own sailing vessel powered by their own thoughts, emotions, and imagination. You can't improve their smile, nor even add to their woes, unless, at some level, they let you.
So, does that pretty much clear up the effect others can have on you?"
With that in mind, I began my day. A day that began like so many other days. But you never know what the day will hold in this business. I was determined to make it a good day regardless of anything that might come my way.
I left with a bit of a stomach ache. I wasn't able to hold down any breakfast.
When I reached the garage, I noticed that the gas gauge read empty. But the on-board computer said that I had 68 miles left before running out completely. Since the funeral home is only 30 miles away, I contemplated filling up closer to my destination. In my mind I did a little math and if I only had less than a gallon of gas, then how could I go 68 miles in a gas guzzling funeral coach? So I opted to turn into the gas station. As I was crossing the on coming traffic, the hearse stalled out. After a couple of attempts to restart it, the engine turned over and got me off the road and then stalled again. Aiming the car toward and empty pump, I restarted it again, only to have it stall out again. Just then, someone drove around me and took the pump that I was trying to make it to. Choosing another pump, after several more attempts, I made it to the pump and quenched the thirsty car of its need for gasoline.
Then trying to make a left out of the gas station proved impossible to head to the freeway, so a right was in order. Since I was now traveling past a car wash, I opted to wash the car first, then drive to the funeral home. This car wash doesn't take debit cards, so I had to go with the quarter option. Only to realize that I don't have enough quarters. So I exhausted my wallet of all the single dollars to make change and proceeded to wash the car.
Having taken a different route, I now found myself trying to enter the freeway in a construction zone, where the freeway entrance ramp was closed. I was detoured four miles up the road for my entry. Still in the construction zone, I found myself driving through a bit of a muddy area. (See where I'm going with this)
By the time I reached the funeral home, it looked as though I had not washed the car at all.
We loaded up and headed over to the church anyway, with the understanding that I would get the hearse washed again after we set everything up. The trick was to find a car wash in that neighborhood that took debit cards.
Everything went great for the service. There was a huge turn out for this 40 year old woman that had died of cancer. We were glad that they had chosen to have the service at the church because the number of people and cars would not have been possible back at the funeral home for just this service, let alone the other large service going on at the same time.
The trip out to the cemetery was a long one. Both the number of miles and the number of cars. It is my understanding that we had traffic tied up for quite some time.
The committal ceremony took place in the tiny chapel at the cemetery where it was standing room only. Afterward, we had the pall bearers stay behind to help at the graveside where a few of the family members had gathered as well. It wasn't until after I had the pall bearers carrying the casket to the grave that I noticed the cemetery workers had not taken the tarp off the grave that had been placed there to keep the rain out of the open hole. So I hurried up ahead some to pull the tarp off. As I did this, a piece of the lowering apparatus fell into the open vault below. With the gentlemen coming my way carrying the deceased woman, I had no choice but to jump in and recover the stray part. And since we have a rule, only one person per grave and they must be deceased before entering, I had to climb out, in my suit, with six pall bearers and family watching.
Thanks to my quick actions, everything went well.
Then on my way back to the funeral home, I spied something up ahead in the middle of the road. It's orange. And black. It's one of my funeral flags! In the middle of the coastal highway, with cars zipping by it at upwards of 50mph, I couldn't leave it there. So I pulled the hearse over to the side of the road, turned on all the warning lights that I could and ran out to save the poor discarded flag from a fate no one should endure.
By this time, it's getting late and I haven't eaten anything all day. The crazy weather changing from sunny to rain and back to sun and all the excitement of the day had taken a toll on me. I was developing a head ache to go along with that stomach ache. So I pulled into a gas station and grabbed a bite to eat for the ride home.
There was nothing and no one that was going to stop me from having a good day. And I can say that it has been a good day. Through it all, I was able to come home and spend some time wrestling with my best friend, Pugsley. Any day that I can do that, is a great day.