Finally, pictured above, is my brother with the tin and baby toy rings stacked on his noggin. We decided that Grandma needed to join in the festivities and no one was too sure they wanted to hold the urn on their lap so her picture had to suffice.
We had some close calls where the balancer nearly tipped over backward and had to be caught by an innocent bystander (usually my great aunt who might weigh 88 pounds, if she stepped on a scale just after Thanksgiving dinner). And in the moments that a competitor fell backward or darted forward, I could just about hear my Grandma burst out with her laugh and say something like, "Oh gosh, careful, Jon." If she had known we'd included her picture she would have rolled those big dark eyes and unsuccessfully hidden a smile.
She sure got herself some interesting characters for grandchildren. And if the only legacy we leave is dominating at balancing in the wheelchair she needed during the end of her life and some silly blog her oldest granddaughter authors, well, I still think she'll be proud.
It should also be noted that, at Grandma's service, the worst ever version of When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder was played. It sounded as though it was recorded in 1950 and was meant as a line dance, not a dirge. I was laughing so uncontrollably hard that all I could do was attempt to not actually cackle. This made the rest of my cousins start laughing and I am sure that, from the back, it looked at though we were a row of sobbing grandchildren as our shoulders quivered and shook. Smack in the middle of it, the singer shouted out, "All together now!" and was joined by a chorus. When that happened I literally had to cover my mouth because loud guffaws were about to escape. Finally, toward the end, he rang something to the effect of, "Ready for the big finish." (I'm not sure that was it, but you get the idea). It was so bad that I know my grandma would have died laughing. You know, if that hadn't been why we were there in the first place. So, all at once, I wasn't a pastor's wife. I wasn't 26. I was actually five years old and my grandma was doing something to make me laugh hysterically. I'm glad that the last thing I did at her funeral was laugh uncontrollably. It was ever so fitting.