It's time again for Storytelling Sunday, sponsored by Sian of From High on the Sky. This month, I'm sharing a story from my Houston Memories Series. I based this particular card on this sketch at Die Cut Dreams., which I found with a little help from Jacky. Now on to the story. . . .
During the summer that my sister and I spent in Houston, Texas, we lived with my Aunt Vera and Uncle Nano, but we often spent time or went on adventures with other aunts, uncles, cousins or family friends. I remember one particular weekend we went to Galveston, a beach town about an hour outside of town, with one of my mother's best friends. My memory is a little hazy. It may have been "Crazy Janie," but I'm pretty sure we went with Ana Laura and her daughter. I remember playing in the sand and catching crabs on a pier. At the end of the day, three sandy, sunburned girls dozed in the backseat of the big sedan. There was no air conditioner, but we rolled down all the windows. A warm, gentle breeze wafting in the windows made for perfect napping weather.
Before I knew it, the car stopped at an old-fashioned car wash. We asked Ana Laura if she was planning to wash the car, and she said "No. We're giving y'all a bath. We've got a funeral to go to, and we need to get you cleaned up." This wasn't the sort of thing we did at home, but out we climbed into the spray of the car wash. Bashfully, we peeled off our suits, washed away all the sand, toweled off and climbed into clean, dry clothes.
Wide awake now, we began to talk about the funeral. None of us had ever been to one before, and we were full of questions. Ana Laura told us that, it was actually a "rosary, not a funeral." We would pay our respects, say our prayers, and be on our way. So far, so good. But then Ana Laura stopped us all in our tracks when she told us that, "Yes, of course, there will be a casket, and we would be able to see the dead body."
We drove along in silence for a while until the nervous giggles started. "What if he's not really dead?" we asked. "What if he sits up during the service?" Before long, we had convinced ourselves that it was highly likely that the deceased would sit up and begin talking in the middle of the rosary. And we found the idea hilarious. We created a hundred scenarios of what he might say and how the parishioners would react. We made funny faces and talked in funny voices. We laughed until tears were rolling down our face and our sides ached.
Of course, the moment we walked into the church, we were quiet and composed. It was sober and scary, and we knew enough to be respectful. We sat there. Quietly. And politely.
Until Ana's daughter whispered, "Look, he's starting to sit up." And then the giggles started again. We did our best to contain ourself, but we just couldn't. And when I looked up, Ana was laughing too.
She gave up on the rosary and took us to get ice cream. Three sunburned girls in sun dresses, eating ice cream, with one very patient mom smiling and shaking her head. And, in that moment, it was obvious to me why my mom had chosen Ana Laura to be her best friend.