1) When your alarm goes off at 2 am, so you can get up and catch a 6am flight out of Atlanta, repeat to yourself; “Saving $2800 in bereavement airfare, saving $2800 in bereavement airfare” because Heaven knows that’s the ONLY reason worth getting out of bed at that God-forsaken hour.
2) Don’t wait until 2:30 am to realize the DVD plug in was obviously lost on your last car trip. Discoveries such as this will be even more annoying than normal after only three hours sleep, and promising children you will buy another cord in Oklahoma City will not be good enough to appease their irrational little minds at that time of the morning.
3) Remember to gas up your vehicle the night before (My gosh, will I never learn?!?!?)
4) Driving on the interstate at 3 am should be avoided if at all possible, because you will suddenly realize at least some of your fellow drivers are not off to an early start like you, but are in fact winding up a late night. You will suddenly view every vehicle on the road with suspicion, worried every one contains a drunk driver, destined to cause harm to your family.
5) (This one for the benefit of my children): I don’t care how many hours you’ve been awake because you woke up at 2:30 am, it’s still too early to have candy for breakfast.
6) When waiting in the DFW airport for your connecting flight, you are actually NOT doing your fellow passengers a favor by taking your over-stimulated and sleep-deprived children on a walk through the airport to burn off energy. What will actually happen is you will be six or seven gates away, letting them (as all wonderful parents do) ride up and down on the escalators, and you will not hear the gate attendant calling your names for final boarding. So those passengers you thought you were helping will instead be glaring at you with daggers shooting out of their eyes as you --- ONCE AGAIN --- are the very last passengers to board the plane.
7) Nothing says “Kick me when I’m down” quite like a flat tire in the funeral home parking lot.
8) Keep a funeral-appropriate dress, **that fits**, in your closet at all times. Because just in case you’re not feeling shitty enough, shopping for a dress in the plus-size section at the last minute to wear to your father’s funeral is NOT the emotional pick-me-up you might think.
We arrived safe and sound and are glad to be home, visiting with friends and family, some of whom we haven't seen in ages. I suppose that's the perk of a funeral --- but it always leaves me wondering why, if we're such close friends and family, we don't work harder at staying in touch while everyone is alive.
Kids are doing extremely well. Thanks, once again, for all your kind notes, calls, and e-mails. I'm sorry I haven't done a better job of responding. If I could ask ... once more ... please keep us in your thoughts tomorrow during the funeral.