Hey kids,

This past Sunday, as some of you may know, my Pop Pop passed away.  He had been sick for a few weeks with pneumonia, which turned into congestive heart failure, and — after a lengthy hospital stay — he decided that he was ready to let go, hospice was called, and he was unplugged from all of the machines that were keeping him alive.  His funeral was this Wednesday night, followed by a memorial mass and burial on Thursday morning.

It was an extremely long, hard, painful process but, in the end, it was the right decision and we’re all breathing a sigh of relief that his suffering is over.

Which brings us to today.

Ever since my Pop Pop was first taken to the hospital, my folks and I have been stopping over at his house on a fairly regular basis to, y’know, collect the mail, secure the house, and to just generally make it look like someone was still living there.

We hadn’t been there in a few days — mostly due to the fact that they’ve been a whirlwind of funeral arrangements followed by the actual ceremonies — so, when we got there this morning, the mail had piled up and there were a few messages on the answering machine.

We pressed play and the first message when a little something like this:

“This Tony from the Knights of Columbus, Fourth Degree.  I’m calling to let you know that our brother, Michael Giallanza, has passed away and that he’ll be laid out at Jakub’s & Son Funeral Home from two to four and seven to nine on Wednesday night.”

You read that right, dear reader.

This guy just invited my Pop Pop to his own funeral.

It was the first piece of levity — the first time I really laughed — in the past two weeks.

My mother always told me that I’m behind so often I’ll be late for my own funeral,