Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Day After

The whole service went smoothly and gracefully, lasting a little over 2 1/2 hours. It was all very understated and simple, just the way my father would have wanted it. My mother choose simple red roses in vases on pedestals flanking the casket, with a spray tied with red ribbon sharing the end of the plain light wood coffin with the American flag. (They reminded her of the dozen roses he would give her every year for the last 55 years for Valentine's Day. This year she gave the roses.) The sanctuary was packed. I estimate close to 200 people packed the little country church. "Because he lives" was sung by a family friend. Everyone joined in for "Shall we gather at the river?", the song my father told me he liked. It reminded me of the lake house, since he always referred to it as going to the the "river". The interment service was beautifully executed and very moving. The playing of "Taps" on the bugle finally got me. The pall bearers were all his nephews and great nephews, nine of them, wearing white rose boutineer, that were removed and placed on the coffin. "Amazing Grace" was sung acapella, with a few spontaneously joining in. It was simple a beautiful memorial to commemorate a wonderful man. He will be greatly missed by many. He once told my mother if he died on a Monday, bury him on Tuesday, and start living again on Wednesday. And bury him in a plain pine box. I think he would have approved.

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