The day I almost cried over Chik-fil-A

So, many of you know that I have been pursuing getting my funeral director’s license. At the end of the course, in order to be eligible to graduate, a student must pass the Comprehensive Exams. I have been studying diligently for this; yet in the two weeks prior to the test, I had very little time to actually concentrate on those studies.

But on Sunday night, I drove down to Pittsburgh to take the exam on Monday. The process is that the test is divided into two sections with six tests making up each section. The test taker has to pass all the tests with a score of at least 80%. If all the tests are passed on Monday, then the tester is done. If they are not all passed on Monday, the tester returns on Wednesday to retake those not passed at the stated percentage. On Friday, the tester has opportunity to take the test once again to finish the week by taking any remaining parts that were not previously passed.

Each half of the test runs in the neighborhood of 200 questions with a two-hour window to take the test.

So on Monday, I took the test. There were several “administrative” bumps that caused me angst in the way the test was proctored; but that was manageable. All the same, when the test was over, I would have to describe myself in a state of test-shock. I considered staying in Pittsburgh just a bit to get something to eat. However, given the time of day and the fact that I needed to get some media prepared for a funeral service the next day, I was not comfortable with remaining.

And then I remembered! Chik-fil-A, in Erie, is half-way home. So, off I went — happy to be getting out of the city before traffic would be any sort of an issue! It was only two hours to Erie, yet my stomach was not happy with this decision. So I kept myself going with the thought of a chocolate milkshake and chicken tenders and a chocolate milkshake. Did I mention that chocolate milkshake?

The stress of that test had really taken its toll and I was so looking forward to a nice meal, oh, and a chocolate milkshake–LARGE. Just a little further–almost there!

As I pulled into the parking lot, there was a huge sign–CLOSED FOR CONSTRUCTION. WHAT?!?!?! How could they do this to me? And the letdown was almost too much…yes, really, I almost cried.

But then I pulled myself together by reminding myself that it’s not Chik-fil-A, or their chocolate milkshake, that sustains me. God is bigger than a fast food chain and He’s bigger than a Comprehensive Exam. He reminded me that He is Enough, no matter what.

For the record — I passed seven of the twelve parts that day and on Wednesday, I passed the remaining five.

milkshakes-cow

Whatcha doin’?

I know that many have been somewhat stupefied by the limited number of posts that I’ve put out in the past few months, especially given Bud’s circumstances. I’ve been keeping it quiet because of my own insecurities, but I suppose it’s good for you to know.

In August 2017, Bud and I started talking about the idea of me getting my funeral director’s license. I did some praying and thinking. If you know me, you know that I’ve been declining this path for quite a few years. When I was homeschooling our kids, I felt like it would be too overwhelming for me to go to school as well. (Especially given that distance classes were not an option then.) After our children all left the nest, I wanted to just help in a supportive role and develop the media offerings of our funeral home.

And honestly, I’ve had to think about the physical aspects of funeral directing. I have never been drawn to sciences, particularly those that deal with the body, so this portion of the course seemed beyond my capabilities and interests.

So when Bud asked me once again if I would consider getting my license, I was the most pimssurprised to hear coming from my mouth, “Sure, I think I should do that.” So began my journey into funeral directing.

In September, I enrolled at Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.  The second week of October, classes began.

Most of my courses are distance classes. I have completed the first module and am more than half way through the second module. It has been very interesting so far; and, honestly, pretty rigorous. Each module is eight weeks and during that time two or three college-level courses are completed. The whole course will take approximately two years, so I suppose I’m well on my way.

I have also already learned a lot–about funeral directing as a career and about myself. I’ve found that, as I intimated, I do struggle with the sciences. I also have learned that I am a panic-stricken test taker! These timed tests seem to just set off my nerves!

I have also had classes that have caused me to probe the field of funeral service in ways that I never did before. These thought-provoking “philosophy” of funeral service classes have brought me more into focus about the whole field of serving our community during funerals. Perhaps I will go back over my previous assignments and share with you some of our philosophy.

Anyway, you do know about Bud’s journey; and now, you know about mine. Clarifying the timeline, I enrolled for funeral directing studies about a month before Bud was admitted to Strong Memorial. I know that it will be tempting for some to think that I chose this path because of what happened to Bud. However, the more accurate statement is that God started me in this direction before Bud’s diagnosis.

I know myself; I would not have been able to make a decision and start classes in the midst of the emotional turmoil that Bud’s circumstances placed upon me. So, God spared me that hurdle. Now, I am looking forward to being the first husband/wife licensed funeral directing team in our area. Considering how well we work together, I anticipate that my having my license in funeral directing will just make our service all the better.