Monday, October 22, 2007

Ring Riiiing….. It’s God Calling

This morning I went to a funeral of a friend’s father. We were all in the church, and the priest just finished giving a eulogy about how the deceased was a veteran and a fire fighter. People were crying and then a cell phone began to ring just as the priest was about to do a blessing over the casket.

Ring ring.

The priest paused for a second, and continued with his blessing.

Ring ring.

The priest paused again, shorter this time. The phone rang five more times until a woman a few pews in front of me finally dove into her purse and shut the thing off. It took 5 rings for this woman to think to reach into her purse and turn the phone off. Five very loud rings that echoed through the church. Five very loud rings that caused the priest to pause in his blessing. Five rings. I clenched my jaw and silently wished that she was a heart surgeon waiting to hear about a donor for her patient. Though I have a sneaking suspicion she was not a surgeon but really just a careless cell phone user.

I do not have a cell phone, and am constantly amazed at the growing lack of consideration that is sprouting up among cell phone users. Sometimes you’ll hear one ring in the movie theater, and an urgent voice whispering into it “I’m at the movies right now, I’ll have to call you back.” Very often you’ll see people on their cell phones at the tables in a restaurant, and ignoring the people they are sitting with at the table while they talk on the phone.

At what point to we get to unplug ourselves and just enjoy where we were without having to need to know what’s going on somewhere else?


This morning at the funeral I sat with one of my best friends (Krista) and her new fiancé, also a good friend of mine. I watched my friend (Allison), whose father just died; walk back up the aisle at the end of the service with tears streaming down her face. She mouthed a thank you to the 3 of us sitting in the pew toward the back.

Last night Deb, another college friend, came to the wake. When Krista, Allison, Deb and I all started college we were all 18, and we were all in the same place. We were all in the same stage—graduated high school and starting college. Four years later we were all in the same stage, just graduating college and starting our careers. It’s at that point, age 22, where life stages arrive at different rates.

This morning I looked at my life, Krista’s life, Allison’s and Deb’s lives and thought back to where we were all in the same stage, and how we are not in the same stage anymore. I got married 4 years ago, have a house, am trying to buy another house, and our talk of a baby doesn’t start with “if” anymore but “when.” (Though it’s still iffy as to when the when will be.) I lost my mom 6 years ago. Krista just got engaged a few weeks ago, they are starting to plan their wedding and the rest of their lives together, and both her parents are alive and healthy. Allison is single, has a great job, her own condo, and just lost her father. Deb bought a house with her boyfriend, and they have a dog—her parents are alive and well too.

Regardless of when ever you get to the married stage, I think that you are supposed to be much older when you lose your parents. You aren’t supposed to lose your parents before you get married. That is the linear chronological order of how life stages are supposed to happen. Both your parents are supposed to be raising their glass of champagne at your wedding. My mom wasn’t at mine, and now Allison’s dad won’t be at hers.

When Allison gets married she’ll miss her dad on her wedding day just like I missed my mom. It is a sad group Allison just joined, the one where you don’t get to have both of your parents there on your wedding day. It’s a group I wish nobody had to belong to.



Blogger *~*Cece*~* said...

I'm sorry for your friend's loss. {{hugs}}

When my Grandma passed, in April, we were in church, sitting in the front row and all of a sudden a cell phone goes off. Its my MOM'S! She got all flustered trying to shut it off. After the mass I "scolded" her for not turning it off before entering the church she said Everyone who would call me was here at church! My phone hardly rings and of all times I get a phone call. We can laugh about it now.

October 22, 2007 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm amazed at the rudeness of some people and their cell phones. I would never THINK to even take my phone with me to a funeral.

I hate being in that group of people who have lost a parent. My mom wasn't at my college graduation and wasn't there for my wedding. It's sad to think about a family member not being at those big events.

October 22, 2007 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Gypsy said...

I'm reminded of Giuliani getting grief for answering his phone during press conferences. Some people have no tact. Haven't you ever heard of vibrate? Or ignore!

I'm so sorry for your friend. No one should have to go through that. {hugs}

October 23, 2007 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Augs Casa said...

This was an excellent read.

October 29, 2007 at 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Regardless of when ever you get to the married stage, I think that you are supposed to be much older when you lose your parents. You aren’t supposed to lose your parents before you get married."

I hear you, Beej. I still can't believe how many years I have left without my mom. I feel for your friend Allison and I'm glad you, Krista, and Deb could be there with her.

November 1, 2007 at 4:40 PM  

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