I was sitting on one side of my mom while my sister sat on the other.  We were seated in a row of chairs that could be found in a law office or a funeral home.  I wished it was a law office and we were debating on how to split the millions we won in the lottery, but instead, we were sitting in front of a massive wooden desk discussing the details of my Dad’s funeral.  I let go of my mom’s hand and stood up to find a bathroom.

I walked out of the office and look both ways down a long hallway full of ornate statues and pictures and noticed a little old man watching me.  He smiled kindly at me and asked softly if I needed anything.  I asked where the bathroom was and he pointed towards a door.  I walked to the bathroom door he pointed to, pushed it open and walked inside.

I stopped in the middle of the bathroom and stared at a row of urinals attached to the wall.  It registered that they were, in fact, urinals and my next thought was how progressive this particular funeral home was that they had a row of urinals for those that are transgender and preferred urinals.  That was my thought.  How progressive…This was the jump my exhausted and grief stricken mind made, for whatever reason.

I stood for a while longer staring when I heard the door open behind me.  The forward progress of the person who entered stopped abruptly and I stepped to the side, apologizing about blocking the way to the toilets…and urinals.

I received no response and turned to look and found a man staring dumbfounded- not at the urinals that were present in the women’s restroom or that he had suddenly found himself in the wrong bathroom but that a female had found herself in the wrong bathroom.  That particular female still had not put it all together and took in the shock on her company’s face and said mistakenly, “I know right?!” as she gestured to the progressiveness of it all.

I left the bathroom, without actually using it, and made it halfway back down the hallway, when I realized what I had done.

I’m sure the majority of you have figured it out as well- I walked into the men’s bathroom and had a brief conversation with a poor man, shocked all the way down to his cute argyle socks, about the progressiveness of the funeral home and the fact that they had a large enough transgender crowd visiting the…facilities…that the funeral home remodeled just for that slice of society.

When I made it back to the office where my mom and sister were still sitting in their chairs, I rejoined them and I think I must’ve let out a little giggle.  Their heads both swiveled my way and they waited- they knew an explanation was coming and, with it, comic relief…


I occurred to me recently, that I never introduced my sense of humor when I started the Old House Chic Blog.  I introduced my business and I talked about how that business came to be and I spoke briefly about myself, but…

I never truly expressed how much humor would be laced throughout everything I write.

Humor will always be present in this blog, featuring me as the main character always wearing a very big and very permanent target.  It is a sense of humor directed only at myself and this life I have been given.  My writing is strictly an inward reflection and the subsequent story that develops from adventures featuring the lives I have been given permission to observe for a short while.  That being said, I am resigned to the fact that I won’t get a laugh out of each and every reader that took the time to lay eyes on my writing.

Some readers will come, some readers will go.  Some will subscribe and some will unsubscribe…

…and so I write on, knowing that, as I type this post, some might decide they didn’t like the words “transgender” and “progressive” in the same sentence, all the while missing the bigger picture:

Instead of sliding to the floor, in the men’s bathroom, at the funeral home, resting my head against the urinal, heartbroken and crying my eyes out about losing one of the few people left that loved me unconditionally, I laughed.  I laughed and my mom and sister laughed as well…and when that laughter faded away, we all knew, that life would go on and we, as a family, would be okay.

My sense of humor has been my saving grace.

It kept me sane when I was on the roof of that old house at the very beginning of Old House Chic, and negative thoughts were surrounding me and thoughts of giving up on a gut instinct that my dreams of starting a small business based on that very moment, were closing in because I was beginning to think everyone was right.  What was I doing?!  Why was I salvaging all of that junk out of those homes?  What was I going to do with it all?  I remember tears started to form in my eyes and I laid on my back on that roof looking up at the sky, forgetting that the roof was covered with tar and that my hair would be glued down and suddenly I didn’t care about my sanity and only wanted to not be bald when I finally climbed off that roof.

It has lightened some very dark corners every time I am given the opportunity to help people see hope and self-worth.

It has gotten me out of some very bad moments when a witty quip, delivered at just the right moment to a stranger that I thought meant me harm, decided to do otherwise.

…and on that particular day at the funeral home, it got me through losing my father.

So, I’d like to introduce myself to you.  My name is Bernadette…this is me.


  1. Kirsten - Sweet Tea & Saving Grace
    October 1, 2015 at 9:51 am

    And you sweet Bernadette, I love you to pieces. All the ridiculousness and slapstick and quick wit that you can muster – love it, love it, love it!! And THAT’S why we’re friends. 🙂

    • Bernadette
      October 1, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      So glad to have you as my friend, Kirsten! Thanks for having the same wit and humor!

  2. Sara
    October 1, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Love you girl!

    • Bernadette
      October 1, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      Love you, too!

  3. Sandra
    October 1, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Thank you Bernadette for that sweet post. My mother passed away in Feb, but one thing she always said was that if I ever lost my sense of humor I was done for. And she’s right. When she was battling breast cancer and the radiologist had just told us she had spots on her lungs too, We were in such shock, but a trip to the bathroom and an unfortunate effect from the test she’d just had, had us in hysterical laughter by the time we left the hospital. Laughter really is the best medicine.

    • Bernadette
      October 1, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      I am so sorry for the loss of your mother and her battle with cancer and I’m so glad that you were able to share laughter and love even in the worst of times. That’s really what it’s all about isn’t it? Shining light, through laughter, in those really dark times. Thank you so much for sharing your similar experience. I’m so glad you found my blog 🙂

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