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Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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To start, we're okay. The tornadoes seem to have hit Mississippi the hardest. We had some scary-looking skies, strong winds, and hellacious rain, but that was it.

Second, the funeral for my great-aunt was on Thursday. (Wednesday was Pallas Cat Day on my Tumblr, because I needed a Pallas Cat Day, quite frankly.) It was held in a little churchyard cemetery up in north Alabama, not quite as far up as Decatur, but pretty close. It was the kind of place that had more cows than people and more churches than cows. I enjoyed the cows a lot. 

Also, my estranged father was there. I did not enjoy that as muchCollapse ) 

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It is a great relief when you finally realize the baggage is his and no longer belongs to you.

I'm glad both that you didn't give him an opportunity to try to make some sort of excuse for his absence, and that you had the burden of lack-of-closure lifted. *hugs*

powerful and amazing. I'm glad you got to say no, too.

Every time my grandpa nags at me to talk to my father, I'm going to remember this entry and remind myself that I'm doing the right thing. I'm glad I'm not alone.

Sorry about your aunt. It's so hard to lose someone like that.

And good for you for having the strength to say no to your dad.

I just wanted to tell you that reading this made me smile, almost with pride (which feels slightly weird, but I hope you know what I mean), but certainly with awe. You took control of that situation - no wonder it felt so good.

That was such a wonderful entry... thank you so much for sharing, Cleo.

I sort of feel the way you do towards one of my aunts who basically destroyed our family's relationship with all my dad's siblings and their families - we were outcasts, unwelcome and generally uninvited, and while she wasn't on the outs with us kids, we got hurt pretty badly in the crossfire. I've always wanted to have some sort of showdown, but it occurred to me at my grandma's funeral (grandpa was already gone) that it wouldn't help me to forgive her, much less put it behind me. So I concentrated on my family, my dad, and saying goodbye to Grandma.

Long story short, I get what you mean. There's a great deal of closure you can get at a funeral, and I'm thrilled you got some :)

It was also near the towns of Arab (AY-rab), Egypt, and Hog Jaw. Oh, Alabama.

There is a hamlet in New York called Hemlock. (There is also a Hemlock Lake. I have a great deal of curiosity as to whether or not it provides drinking water.) Hand to God. I don't know who decided this would be a good name for a place, but there you go. It could only be worse/more hilarious if the place were named Datura.

I'm glad things went well at the funeral.

"Arsenic, Alabama" would have a nice ring to it.

I'm happy you've had some sort of closure regarding your father, and that you managed to act in a way that you feel preserved your dignity and made you feel lighter--particularly given it all happened under an emotionally charged event.

Your words on your great-aunt were very heart-warming to read.

I spoke at both of the funerals I've been to. I cried so hard I could barely be heard at the first, and notably if not as bad at the second, but I knew the regret over not saying anything would be far worse than the idea that I'd look ridiculous.

While I'm really sorry for your grandaunt, I'm glad that you got to see your dad on as neutral ground as probably exists, and the encounter left you so well. *hugs*

Alabama! I am a fan of your picture taking, muchly. Ours is wonderful country. (Also, I lol'd a little at your "not as far up as Decatur." Granted, despite the fact that I have been driving 10 hours to get to school for four years, I still think driving from Huntsvegas to Decatur is a long trip. Oh childhood distances.)

I am glad you were able to handle the situation with your father the way you wanted to, and that you felt better in the morning.

Having followed your journal for years, certainly several Valentine's Days worth, I'm glad you feel like you got some closure on that situation. Seems like you handled it well.

We have had WAYYYY too many funerals this past year in our family....and all for my favorite people - not so fabulous, I tell you.

I luckily avoided "the dreaded encounter" with the relative which caused much heartache for one of our relatives, about whom I have much unresolved anger. When asked why I was still so bitter after so many years, I simply shrugged my shoulder and said, "I just don't want to have to kick him in the teeth."

Which became the mantre for the rest of the week for my brothers and myself.

People think I'm joking when I say a successful "Family event" (holiday, funeral, wedding, etc.) is one where you don't have to bail anyone out of jail (or be bailed yourself).

And your great aunt sounds pretty cool. I asked my Great Aunt Eva if she regretted not having any children herself (she raised a bunch of us as well) and she said, "Good gracious, no!" Apparently, she felt that raising us, but not having to deal with a possibly pesky husband/in-laws/childbirth/etc. was the best of both worlds. Which really surprised me and changed how I viewed her. It made me realize she was ahead of her time, defying society's expectations of her in an era (early 1900's) in which that wasn't an easy thing. Sticking to what she wanted, she lived the life she wanted. Not bad for a Appalachian mountain girl....

And I only spoke for a minute or two, but the gist of it was, "I can't bring myself to cry, because all I have are happy memories of her."

That is a beautiful way to remember someone. <3