Worked in the morning. Amanda and Karen cleaned then went to Jacksonville for shoes. Amanda thought she’d brought shoes for the funeral but had not. From yesterday she also forgot to grab me a tie so I was to borrow one from Phil.

Michael and I played some more Rock Band. The Pickens arrived and William played a little with us before Amanda and I left to go to her grandparents’ house, where we were staying for the night so the Pickens would have room to sleep somewhere.

We unloaded a few things then got dressed up and went to the funeral home for the family viewing.  Michael, Stanton and William rode with us to the church for a dinner prepared for Miss Bolin’s funeral.  Phil’s extended family was there, most of whom I remembered.  After that we all went back to the funeral home.  They were doing the viewing and the ceremony tonight and the burial itself tomorrow.

Us kids (me and Amanda, Stanton, William and Michael) were talking a little loud right before the ceremony.  We, and the rest of the family, were all in a little room off to the side of the chapel, with a view of the chapel through a slotted open window I guess you could call it.  After the ceremony, which featured a very nice eulogy, the family went into one room and all the attendees filed in to express their condolences.  I won’t lie- it was a little awkward for me.  I mean, I’m not even sure if Miss Bolin even knew who I was.  We’d met maybe five times, tops, so I felt bad when people told me they were sorry for my loss.

That line took a little while.  Amanda was to my left, the direction people were coming from, and Michael was to my right.  Amanda would just say she was Philip’s daughter (to the people who didn’t ask if she was Karen’s daughter), I would say I belonged to her and Michael would either say he was Philip’s son (Michael Philipson) or that he was her brother (after I said I was Amanda’s).  A couple people asked if he was Roosie’s son.  (Roosie is Phil’s cousin.)

When that was all done there was a little familial mingling then the same group (me and Amanda, Stanton, William and Michael) all headed back to the Mercer house with a quick stop to pick up some McDonald’s.  The dinner had been good, but for some reason a few of us were hungry.  When we were just about back to the house Michael had the idea to ask if anybody had a key.  I thought I did, and it turns out I was right, although it didn’t matter because by the time I opened the door Michael was standing in front of it on the inside, having found an alternate route in.

The adults were back a few minutes after the rest of us.  We played Rock Band for a bit then packed that up into the Jetta so Amanda and I could get back to the Lemons house.  We were pretty beat so we went to sleep pretty quickly after we got back.

Zach Dotsey