Saturday, July 05, 2008

Monica

In a sobering turn around from the holiday yesterday, Jeff and I drove up to Portsmouth Iowa today for the funeral of his Uncle Joe Kleffman. Joe was only 60 years old, and had died of heart attack last Sunday. Even though I had only met Joe once, the funeral was a very moving one. Joe had served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the Marines, so at the graveside service there were saluting Marines in dress uniform, a 21 gun salute, and a bugle player playing Taps. It was such a moving moment to see them fold the flag and give it to Joe's mom, Monica.

Grandma Monica was my inspiration today. I was next to her several times today as friends and relatives came to offer hugs and condolences. She always looked up with a smile and said "I've had a bad couple of days, but I am going to get through. The Lord always takes care of me, and I know he's taking care of Joe." She then proceeded to thank the guests, and offer THEM comfort! Despite the fact that she was burying her child without the shoulder of her husband to lean on, she was gracious, kind, and loving. She is absolutely an amazing woman. I wish I had 1/2 of her strength and faith.

The cemetery in Portsmouth is a beautiful one. It sits at the top of a hill, and looks out over acres and acres of farmland. It was so quiet and peaceful, and almost comforting. I also have several relatives buried there, but had never been there myself. Jeff and my's families are both from the same area of Iowa, and so my great grandparents and Aunt Janice are buried there. Strange how our paths cross.

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