This is part two of the stressful road trip to California.  For Part One: LIFE SUCKS, please click back one.

The funeral was held at St. Ignatius church in San Francisco where John had actually gone to school and his old principal even presided over the service.  It was a giant and beautiful church which was completely filled with his friends and family.  John managed to pack a full house!  I doubt I will even be able to fill up an RV trailer with enough people for my funeral.   The service was your usual churchy funeral with the priest somehow working in John’s name when talking about Jesus and Lazarus.    It was not until my brother’s eulogy that I felt John was finally brought into the room.  I did not have to ask my brother if he was going to give the eulogy, I just instinctively knew he would.  He has given at least a half a dozen in his lifetime; 3 of which I was honored to see him perform.  The first was for a young girl in his 8th grade class who died unexpectedly.  The next was for our own mother.  My brother has a gift for words and I knew it was important for him to speak on behalf of his best friend who was like a brother to him.  As part of his tribute, my brother read a letter that John’s 8 year old son, Seamus wrote for him.  Not a single eye in that church was dry during that moment.


It could not have been a more beautiful day in San Francisco.  When we were leaving the church, a red tail hawk flew by and caught our attention as he swooped repeatedly over our heads calling out to us over and over.  Hello John, we called back, not surprised by his transformation into this glorious bird.  He loved nature so much.  The reception was held at the yacht club with a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge.  We sat and watched flocks of pelicans and even saw a porpoise and a harbor seal.  This is when it all became more real as his loved ones gathered and shared hilarious and heart breaking stories about our friend.  He was a teacher and many of his former students came and spoke about how he had affected their lives.   It was a day of tears and even more laughs; a day of life affirming beauty and tragic loss.


We just had one day in between the funeral and my Grandma’s 90th birthday, so my sister had a little impromptu celebration for Finn’s 2nd birthday, which was just right around the corner. 


We had been planning my Grandma’s party for months.  She is the beloved matriarch and even at 90 years old, she is sharp as a tack; my role model for accepting people for who they are.  Both of her living children, all 5 of her grandchildren and 5 out of 7 of her GREAT-grandchildren were present, plus a myriad of other family and friends.  It was another beautiful day; this one celebrating the other end of the spectrum; a full life.  I was extremely grateful I could be a part of this momentous event.



  1. On Thursday, September 17th, we are on day two of a two day road trip to California
  2. While driving up a steep grade in Grants Pass OR, I accidentally put the car into reverse
  3. The car instantly breaks
  4. Mentally thinking: This is going to take HOURS to fix
  5. Get towed to a dealership instead of a cheaper, faster transmission place
  6. Spent 3 hours just trying to figure out what to do
  7. Town was sold out of rental cars
  8. Decided to have the dealership fix it, because they had a car we could rent & we really wanted to attend a funeral the next day, 400 miles away
  9. Dealership suddenly remembers they do not rent to folks needing to drive out of town
  10. I cried in front of the dealership guy
  11. He gave us the car
  12. Hoping for a cheap, easy fix, we transfer all of our stuff to the rental and head to California
  13. Mentally thinking: The car will be ready by the time we are driving back to Seattle in a week and we can pick it up as we head back home
  14. Do not hear from dealership until 11:00am the next day
  15. They say the transmission is dead
  16. They need to order a new one
  17. The only new one they could find is in Texas
  18. It will take them a week for the new transmission to be shipped & then a few days more to fix it
  19. Estimated cost is $3500
  20. Our plans of picking up the car on the way home are dashed.
  21. Rental car costs $25 a day
  22. We will have to make another trip from Seattle to Oregon once it is fixed
  23. Decided to just be glad it was this we are dealing with & that we were not in a terrible accident instead
  24. We take 3 days to drive home and drive along the glorious Oregon Coast
  25. We get home exhausted on a Wednesday
  26. On the following Saturday, we throw a birthday party for our son’s 2nd birthday
  27. We are hopeful we can plan to pick up the car the following weekend & not have to miss any work
  28. We call to confirm we can pick up the car on the weekend
  29. Dealership cannot guarantee
  30. I tell them that I know this is the name of the game, but it is still shocking it could take this long
  31. Still driving the rental car
  32. The rental car is nice, but it has manual door locks and windows, which is annoying
  33. By Wednesday, October 7th the car is finally fixed.  I will believe it when I see it
  34. Sasha leaves at 5:00am on Friday to go pick up the car 23 days after it broke
  35. Hallefuckinglujah
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6 Comments on “AND THEN YOU GET OVER IT”

  1. for-tart Says:

    Thoughts on your post:
    1. Dad passed at 90. Glad Grandma is still sharp.
    2. Texas has every car part ever made.
    3. I like the part about the hawk.
    4. Glad you have your car back.
    5. Happy B-Day Finn!

  2. Desirée Says:

    You are ever so right – either end of life… it’s too much to bear when good people die young and all the more reason to celebrate the good people, who live to see grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Lots of hugs and hallelujah indeed to the return of the car! x

  3. Acorn Says:

    John reincarnated as a hawk is just amazing and choked me up.

  4. Kim Says:

    Your brother sounds wonderful, what he said must have meant to much to everyone. I’m glad you could be a part of remembering & honoring your friend, even though it’s such a sad time… I’m sorry my friend!!

    And sorry about your car too! What a pain in the ass.

    Oh I LOVE 90 year-old, sharp women!! I hope I am like that too one day! I can’t wait.

    (Happy b-day to little Finn!)

  5. Becky Says:

    Sorry I didn’t comment on this till now. Visiting family in the household, you know how that is.

    Seriously: holy CRAP. What a saga. AFGO (another f*cking growth opportunity)

    Love you! Love love love you!

  6. Sacha Says:

    Sorry about your friend. God, how awful.I hate when people die.

    I’m really hoping that November is a better month for you and your family, and that you get lots of Finn kisses.

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