And so it begins…

If the story I am about to tell you can be considered a chapter in The Story of My Life, then the moral of that story would be, “Don’t ever expect it to be easy or work right the first time, and you won’t be disappointed.” Hence the reason I am convinced that my middle name should have been Murphy instead of Marie. While the end result usually turns out ok, it sure is a pain in the ass to get there!

So anyway, on to the story…

If you know me, you may know that my grandmother on my dad’s side passed away on February 20th, and I’ve been freaking out because my dad asked me if I would read something that he wrote at the memorial service.  I think my answer was a very unenthusiastic, “Uh…I guess I can try…if you *really* want me to.”

This request was made a few days after her passing, either the 23rd or 24th of February. My grandmother had decided on cremation, so there was no real rush to have the service, and they decided that this would take place on March 11th. That left approximately 15 days for my dad to write whatever needed to be written and get it to me so that I had some time to practice my speech.

The week before the service, I was starting to worry. I was running out of time, and Dad still hadn’t sent me anything. I sent him an email on March 6th asking what the plan was.  (Yes, I will occasionally end my sentences with prepositions. I realize that it is not a gramatically correct thing to do, however, I have a very conversational writing style, and let’s face it – when we talk, we end sentences with prepositions *all the time*. Deal with it!) He wrote back and said he didn’t know yet. I emailed him *again* on Wednesday, March 8th, 3 days before the service. In his reply, he instructed me that family members should arrive about an hour early. There was no mention made of reading, writing, singing, scratching, etc.  I was starting to think that maybe he had changed his mind, and I was off the hook. Boy, was I wrong…

The night before the service, my dad called me at 7:00pm. I was out at Rocky Run Grill with some friends, one strawberry daquiri behind me, and halfway through an Ocean City Punch. Seems he had just sent me an email…with a file attached. He didn’t seem to understand why my reaction was, “You have got to be kidding me.”

By the time I got home, it was after midnight, but I wanted to at least get a look at what I’d be reading in front of a church full of people in *less than 11 hours*.  I sat down at the computer and tried to connect to the internet via my nifty little Netgear wireless adapter….and I use the word *try*, because I didn’t actually *succeed* in connecting to the internet. I was now officially in panic mode.

Three reboots later, I was finally able to connect to the internet and check my email. I read through the one and a half page document a few times before deciding that while it needed a few minor edits, I was way too tired to be making them right then. At the very last second before closing my browser, I decided to save the file to my hard drive and print a hard copy. I must be psychic.

Six hours later, the alarm went off. I got up, got myself ready, and with about 7 minutes to spare, sat down at the computer to make the edits and print a new, clean copy. At least that was my intention. Wouldn’t you know it, the file I’d saved just a few short hours ago was corrupt, and would not open. It was also time for me to be walking out the door, so I had no time to even attempt to connect to the internet and retrieve it from my email. Luckily, I had that one hard copy I’d printed. I wound up editing that copy with a blue pen as I drove from Elkridge to Gaithersburg, praying that when the time came, I’d be able to read what I’d written.

In the end, the deed was done, but boy those were a rough few hours!

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