Dawn and I go after work to Arbutus MD to the Ambrose Funeral Home. The father of our friend Rhea has passed away suddenly. We’re using Yahoo/MapQuest directions. We get lost.
Step 10 gets us off I-195 and onto Washington Boulevard/US-1. Problem is step 11, which says to continue on US-1. But apparently we should have veered off to the right, which would have taken us around and under the road on which we stayed, and would have taken us to where we needed to go. And compounding the problem was that, right around the time we were supposed to turn left on Selma Avenue, there was in fact another fucking Selma Avenue right there exactly. And we find Maple and Poplar Avenues, streets that we see on the map as being right by where we want to be, but they’re also apparently the wrong ones. Could it have possibly been any more confusing?
So we get into the classic man/woman thing about asking for directions. I’ve never before understood this, really. Like who wouldn’t stop for directions if they were lost? Well, me, turns out. But it’s because Dawn is suggesting that we stop for like any person walking. No way. I’ll stop at a gas station or some other business for directions, but I sure ain’t asking just any random schmo for directions. That’s just crazy.
So we pass up various random schmos. Dawn will say, “How about this person?” and I’ll reply “No, I don’t like that person.”
It appears from the map that we’re on the wrong side of these railroad tracks here, despite Selma and Maple and Poplar. So we find an overpass, and on the other side we find Oregon Avenue, which we also see on the map. So we take that and sure enough we finally find Sulphur Springs Road and the Ambrose Funeral Home. And later it’s only on the way back, retracing the Yahoo directions that we see where we got off track. And probably those railroad tracks are a later addition to the area, is why there are non-contiguous streets with the same name on both side of the tracks.
At the funeral home a sign directs us into the visiting room immediately to the right, where we sign the guestbook just inside the door and then wander further inside. I don’t see Rhea in the crowd. A man comes up to us and asks who we are and introduces himself. He’s Harold Jr., Rhea’s brother. He points out where Rhea is standing, talking to other people. Dawn had already spotted her, and we were just waiting politely until she was finished, whereas I thought we were waiting for her to arrive. But anyway Harold Jr. takes us over, because Rhea’s talking to some people who used to work with her, at Covington & Burling, where she and Dawn work now. Sort of predecessor coworkers of Dawn’s then. They are Roberta and Ann. We meet and greet for a while. We also meet Rhea’s mother, who’s a dear.
Then we talk with Rhea over by her father, by the open casket. She says that he doesn’t really look like him, and Dawn notes that she thought the same thing at her Grandfather’s funeral last year. There’s a kneeler in front of the casket, and I want to kneel and pray, but I’m not sure of the protocol. I’m not sure if it’s more of a Catholic thing, the kneeling and praying in front of the deceased, and I don’t know if making the sign of the cross is okay in Lutheran settings. So I opt for safety and refrain. I tell Rhea that, I don’t know why, but I found the loss of my grandparents ameliorated somewhat by the thought of them having had lost their own grandparents. Somehow I was comforted by the idea that they themselves had to deal with this very same grief. She understands.
The trip home, back into Washington, is a lot faster than the rush hour trip coming out to Arbutus, going against rush hour traffic now.