This morning's funeral was for a teen who was successfully disassociating himself from his gang. He had made the choice to leave that life behind him, turned his focus to school, worked hard with his school's football team, and died anyway, shot in the back of the head by some gangbangers who crashed a party he was attending. What a tragedy. This boy had done what KidThree did--he made the choice to leave that life, he made better decisions, he started to work his way out, and still he got popped. What an f'ing tragedy. What a mess. That poor boy. His poor family. Our poor society.
Of course KidThree knew him. Friends and acquaintances of hers die at the rate of almost one a week, murdered, mostly. When I was a girl, I went to my grandfather's funeral and the funeral of a classmate who walked behind home plate when a batter hit the ball and then threw aside his bat, where it struck my classmate in the head. That was it. For KidThree, this was the fourth funeral this summer. One natural, albeit tragic, death and three murders. And those were only the deaths where she attended the funerals.
It was an interesting morning. This family didn't know me, so KidThree very hesitantly hinted that I might not want to attend, as my presence might be somewhat inhibiting to the other attendees. Poor KidThree. She was so careful to assure me that she wasn't ashamed of me, that she was proud to have me as her mom, she just thought the family might not be entirely comfortable with me. I reassured her that I understood, not to blow smoke, but because I really did understand her dilemma.
We went across town to pick up another girl, then headed out to the funeral. When we got there, I was tickled to see that it was at a Catholic cathedral. Ha Ha Ha! I knew it would be as unfamiliar to her as her Baptist services have been for me, and that is what happened. She and her friend didn't understand most of what was going on. Afterwards I was able to explain to them some of the differences they had noticed. I think I may take KidThree to a few Catholic services just to explain to her some basic religious history.
While the girls were at the funeral, I went to Wal*Mart and did some shopping. That was fun. We have trouble shopping for pants for KidThree, as we need a dressing room with a good-sized bench in it in order for her to be able to try on the clothing. It works better to buy things, bring them home to try, then return the rejects. Today I had just cashed her SSI check and so had plenty of cash (NOT my usual situation), so I chose a dozen pairs of jeans and shorts to try. She chose two pairs of the shorts and three of the pants fit me (we wear sort of the same size--just very different styles as we are different shapes). The rest will go back tomorrow.
We have just finished watching the last episode of "The Wire." The very last one. Not the penultimate, the actual ultimate. Drat, Blast, and Darn It All. The last episode of "The Wire." I thought "The Sopranos" was good, but "The Wire" blew that out of the water. Oh my. No more "The Wire." It has so ruined television for me. No more cop shows except things like "The First 48," which KidThree likes to watch. Drat, Blast, and Darn It All AGAIN.
News from the 'hood: KidThree's bio-mother got locked up yesterday afternoon; bio-mother's wife and KidThree's younger brother are still on the run; and KidThree's sister is still in hiding with her babydaddy and their baby. It will take a while for that to resolve. What a mess this world of ours is.
On the plus side, I won one of the spots in the contest "To Replace the Above-Named Columnist" in our local paper. There were ten spots, so it isn't that big a win, but what the heck, I'll take what I can get. I got the chance to get my "Don't Block the Walk" campaign out in front of the public. Ideas keep running through my head for funny signs and flyers, complete with photos illustrating the idiocy of some of the problems we run into out in the Big Bad Inaccessible World. Maybe that will be how I leave my mark on the world--"Don't Block the Walk" can be right up there with "Don't Drink and Drive." That and my lovely trio, Kids One, Two, and Three.