The short condensed Readers Digest Version LOL...
All in all, On a scale of 1-10, 10 being everything was perfect...
I'd give the 2 day funeral an 8 to 9...
The only thing I would have changed is... we had the celebration of life after his funeral mass... I would have changed it to after the rosary the night before... there just wasn't enough time after the funeral mass because we had to drive an hour to Riverside for the burial [which we never got to see!]
Ill tell ya about that later...
March Air Force Cemetery was like a twillight zone episode... either that or I was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out and tell us we had been 'punked'... We'll get there in a minute...
The rosary... I have to be honest with you, we were not looking forward to the rosary... [if you are Catholic you understand what I mean]
Hail Mary's and Our Father's that usually seem to go on forever... I brought my Grandmothers rosary to use for the first time and I was happy I did, Tina gave Sam one of Grampa's rosary's which was so nice of her! I also took a rosary and necklace Grampa had sent to Candice many years ago out of our safe. It was from the Vatican Collection, he sent them with that letter he wrote her years ago... [She was too young at the time, so I tucked them away for safe storage till she was old enough... and she is old enough now!]
Anyway, the best thing happened... a priest by the name of Father Richard came and didthe rosary... I swear if we had Father Richard at our parish I would go to church more often! He was so good! The kind of Priest, that makes you laugh, and feel totally comfortable in church!
[Its a rare thing... some priest's scare me half to death...]
Anyway, I guess Grampa recruited Father Richard into the Knights of Columbus when he was in seminary school.
All the priests knew Grampa really well, which was totally cool... The one that did the funeral Mass, watched Grampa coach Sam's baseball team!
Tina's priest came and helped with Mass also and he is so good looking! [Imagine Brad Pitt as a priest!] I should have taken a picture of him! Darn it!
Lisa loves going to Tina's church... she said "Do you think I am going to hell for having nasty thoughts about the priest during Mass" LOL
I forget his name but he surfs too! If your ever in San Pedro... head over to the Catholic Church for Mass on Sunday... he he [I forget the name of the church, I only remember its not Mary Star, its the other one]
Ok wait I am getting ahead of myself...
The rosary was really good and Father Richard was one of those priest who didn't talk slow... so we got through the rosary quickly! The bible stories he told between saying the rosary were really interesting too! Then he asked if anyone wanted to say anything about Grampa... so my nephew Nicholas
[the one who was born, when Tina was 6 months along, he was 1lb,8 oz and I have a photo of him, his head is on Tina's fingertips and his butt is on her palm, and her wedding ring is around his thigh]
Here is one of the photos I have of Nicholas when he was a baby... see her hand, then look at him
Nicholas today - in the jacket on the right
Nicholas who is now, 22 I believe stood to tell a story about Grampa teaching him to drive a stick shift but two words into it he broke down sobbing!
[my worst fear about talking about grampa!]
So, I didnt stand up and talk then... I regret it now... maybe if I had I wouldnt have shaken so bad when I spoke at the Funeral Mass!
Anyway, everyone was so understanding and hugged Nicholas for the rest of the night!
Grampa looked pretty good at the viewing before the Rosary... He had a LOT of make up on... its pretty hard to make a guy who looked like a skeleton with skin on... look good... [I don't mean to be graphic but Grampa was thin to begin with... he seriously was bone and skin at the end]
Ok, the reason I am telling you this... is to say... Thank God he was buried in his Knights of Columbus outfit... It really filled Grampa out in the casket...
His KC outfit has a cape... so you can imagine how that truly helped... he had white gloves on with a rosary wrapped around them... [that helped too]
His sword was across his chest and his KC hat was on his shoulder...
I thought he looked pretty nice in his outfit! Imagine if he was in a regular suit... Oh my... that would have looked horrible!
After the viewing a bunch of us  family members went to PF Changs for dinner... we had a lot of fun... I made sure I wasnt sitting next to the wicked witch of the west... [Sam's sister Becky] I do have to say, she was behaving herself... she had to... EVERYONE was ignoring her... Her own kids wouldn't talk to her or look at her!
[Sam and I were worried about after the funeral... they had a limo for immediate family members and spouses for the drive to Riverside which is about an hour... We hadn't told anyone but we seriously thought about not going with them if the wicked witch was going in it... trapped in a limo with her for an hour would have been shear hell... but we were thinking of just doing it out of respect for Grampa! Thank God we didnt have to... she came up to me and said "I am not going in the limo do you think Dad would care if I didnt go" "No, he wouldnt care Becky" and a sigh of relief went through me! She didnt go in the limo because Sam, Tina and Lisa were ignoring her so bad she was scared to be trapped with them for an hour I am sure! After everything she did to me at Sam's Mom's funeral I felt like she FINALLY got hers!
[In case you don't know... she took roses and handed everyone a rose to place on her coffin except me... then she stood in front of me at the burial and said "Get up I want to sit next to my sister... so I stood up, Sam's sister Tina grabbed my hand and said "No, Kendra stay here next to me!" "No Tina, its ok..." and I walked away... as if I am going to make a scene at my MIL's funeral]
The best part of it was, it didnt come from me... I tried to be polite out of respect for Dad... I had to sit next to her during the funeral mass, rosary and burial ceremony... I kinda felt sorry for her... but then I realized Karma is a bitch and so is she! How funny... I am the one she turned to in the end to say something about the limo! She is lucky she didnt say anything to Pam [Sam's cousin or my daughter Candice because she was gonna get it if she had... They have speeches for her sorry ass, they have been dying to deliver]
Anyway... where was I...
The funeral Mass was very nice... My nieces Kristina and Michelle did the readings, Kameron and Kieffer brought the gifts to the altar, they all did a really good job! I was very proud of them...
Sam's ex wife was there for the funeral but she left afterwards... God she looks like crap... obviously drinks way too much... her face was so swollen and her nose was huge! Maybe she had been crying I dont know... I am just glad she left so quickly... Maybe Kris told her to go... I dont know.. I am happy she did tho... At my MIL's funeral she was hanging out with Becky [wicked witch of the west] if looks could kill I would have been dead on the spot at that funeral... Whatever... again... they got theirs at Grampa's funeral and I didnt do a thing ;)
Whoa... so much for the condensed version LOL... I have a bunch more to tell you... but we have a dumpster being dropped off at the high desert house [a 30 yard one] so I have to go through a bunch of stuff here at the house to take up there for the dumpster... Fun... I just love cleaning out cupboards don't you... Ewwwww.... Sam is at the office with the boys getting stuff from there to throw away...
So I will save the twilight zone burial for next time...
Jim, Lisa, Ciro, Tina and Sam... [Tina and Lisa are Sam's normal sisters]
Tina, Sam and the Limo driver
Kieffer after PF Changs... showing how tall he is at 6'4
everyone at PF Changs
My family after the viewing... going to PF Changs
Boys wore their suits the next day
Kameron taking fortune cookies home LOL
The hotel on the beach we stayed at
During the Funeral Mass [wicked witch is next to me on the right]
In the limo on the way to the burial...
Too bad you can't see Bruce Springstein better LOL