I Drove All Night

Although not formal in attire (I didn’t have to wear a suit and tie), the memorial for my niece was quite formal in presentation. I had expected it to be a memorial similar to the one I had planned for my friend, Regina, back in April. We held that one at a church, but it was not a religious service. We just had a few speakers (friends and family) and then allowed people to talk to each other about Regina. In the back of the room was a table filled with flowers and photographs.

My niece’s memorial also had that back table filled with pictures, but what ultimately took place was a religious service. As most of you know, I have about as much religion in me as G.W. Bush has morality, compassion and intelligence in himself. But I digress. I can accept that others find comfort in sermons and readings from the scripture so I just took from the service what I needed. The church was packed with people. I wouldn’t be suprised if nearly 200 people showed up to celebrate the life of a 3 year old who never was even able to speak. It was quite touching.

The most special parts of the service were when a few people did some readings. The best was one of Heather’s visiting nurses. By the end, she was crying, as was the entire gathering of people. Then, a PowerPoint slideshow of Heather was projected onto a screen. It followed her from her premature birth to that last photo I wrote about last week where she had died in her mother’s arms. I was most certainly crying the whole time, but towards the end I was really having to hold back from quivering uncontrollably. I sat with my nephew (Heather’s 7 year old brother) who would go from laughing at a goofy picture (one in particular of the clean-up associated with a SEVERE case of explosive diahhrea) to tears (pictures of him holding Heather right after birth when she was barely 3 pounds).

At the end of the slide presentation, he blurted out (rather loudly): I’m going to miss you, Heather.

That did it. You could just hear women (and presumably some men) just lose it completely. Not a dry eye in the house.

After the service, there was a reception in the Glass House (literally a glass house attached to the church). I ate lots of unhealthy foods before heading back to Boston. And what a ride back it was. On the Mass Turnpike between Routes 495 and 128 large sections of the highway were reduced to just one line so construction could take place. I ended up not getting to the airport (to return the rental car) until nearly 11:30PM. I tried taking their shuttle bus from the car rental facilitity to the subway but the driver would only bring me to an airline terminal. So he brought me to Terminal A and told me to wait for the appropriate bus. But since he conveniently dropped me off at the beginning of a cab stand, I decided to splurge and take a cab.

Oi vey. I live in the North End which is the closest you can possibly be in downtown Boston to the airport. I mean, it’s the first neighborhood you arrive in after taking the tunnel under the harbor. According to Rand McNally this trip is 3 miles yet it cost $21.15 (excluding tip). That’s just obscene. It doesn’t help matters that the meter automatically charges $6.50 the second the car starts. It also didn’t help that the exit into the North End at the end of the tunnel was blocked and we had to drive towards Storrow Drive, around the Fleet Center and back toward the North End.

Fortunately, I only had $20 bills and I handed the guy $40.00. Unable to make any change at all, he handed me back one of my $20’s and only charged me $20. He wasn’t happy, but at least I saved a few bucks. Still, the subway would have been free since I have a subway pass. I guess this yet another example of why Boston is the most expensive city to live in in the country.



  1. Comment by karyn on September 29, 2005 11:50 pm

    I cannot fathom getting through that service with dry eyes or wet eyes, for that matter. Just reading about it makes me start up again. I am so sad for your brother’s family. I mean, your family as well, but from the parent’s perspective… how are they holding up? What will be hard for them in a few weeks is when the furor settles somewhat and they are left to themselves. It hurts to think on it. *hugs*

  2. Comment by matt on September 30, 2005 12:43 am

    Karl, I was thinking of you all.

    I am impressed that you took the cab! Good for you! …it’s only $20. Your time is worth that much!

    …so, am trying to gain some weight now. I am at 155 — need to get 10 more pounds! My 30’s are loose! Noooo! Why must I always go over the top with everything I do!?!?!? Oh well.

    Hang in there!

  3. Comment by Brad on September 30, 2005 1:08 pm

    I’m intrigued by your comment of George Bush not having any morality. Really? 🙂

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