Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Death Care..Pt. 2

Okay, September rolled around and it was time to begin school once again. I had decided to stay on campus in a dorm and the first day of my arrival I of course had some help "moving in". I also met my roommate that day who turned out to be a lifelong friend.

The first year of college was the first time I had lived away from home and at 18 years of age to be loose and on my own was great. During that year I experienced things that I couldn't possibly fathom even existed let alone would I ever do them. It was a party year. Most weekends I came home since the school was only like an hour and a half from where I grew up. On one of my weekends home I ran into a girl I had met 2 years prior and we decided we liked each other enough to have a relationship. 30 years later we are still happily married and enjoy a very comfortable life together.

At the end of that first year I had decided to transfer to a Mortuary school that was just beginning a new program where degrees would be offered as well as training to become a Funeral Director. It was actually better than the college I went to because I wound up getting the same degree and went to a fairly prestigious Mortuary School at the same time. This school had students of varying ages who had come from all over the world for an education with the vast majority of them members of "funeral home families". But you have to remember the time frame here. I was still young and very impressionable. I wound up getting hooked up with a young, sharp, Rat Pack like group and once again began experiencing things that I never had before. The difference this time was that I was being treated to lunches and dining at posh restaurants all on their daddies money. Literally hanging out with women who wore diamonds and furs daily. These funeral home kids sure knew how to live right. This was certainly a promising career.

Once finished with the education portion I was now ready for graduation and to take my National Board Examination which would allow me to become a resident Funeral Director/Embalmer. The boards were taken and I passed so my new hunt was for a business that would take me on as a resident Funeral Director and give me the experience necessary to get my full license. None of my new "friends" were able to help me but I did manage to find a spot in a very lucrative business and it wasn't too far from home to boot.

I was about to learn what it really was like to be a Funeral Director! I guess it took about 2 days before I started to learn the basics. How to polish brass, dust caskets, water plants, wash cars, scrub toilets and other equally important aspects of the industry. It didn't take me long to wonder "what the hell have I gotten myself into?". With due respect though I have to thank my mentor who was a very talented embalmer for teaching me all the tricks of the trade. I was becoming good at this. I was liking it.

When I was first hired I had been told that they would make sure that they satisfied the requirements of my residency so that I could be fully licensed but they could not guarantee that they would or could keep me after the year was up. When this was first told to me I didn't even consider the possibility that they could actually mean it. As time progressed though, I often thought of their words but felt that they would want to keep me based on the positive feedback I was hearing about my performance; but they were true to their word. I was there a year and nothing was mentioned. I received my license and my first "nice" paycheck followed by a pretty pink piece of paper announcing my being laid off. So, here I was, engaged to be married and no job. I look back and think why did I get engaged not really sure of my job?

That night I went home and later saw the soon to be Mrs. Me and advised her of the news. At first there was a tremendous feeling of fear that swept across the room but in no time her level head kicked in. "Don't worry, it will be fine". That night she began the process of bailing me out and I will be eternally grateful for be continued

No comments: