Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Funeral

It's been a tiring two days for me.

Last night was the wake (why do they call it that anyway?) for my Grandpa. I found out about three hours before hand that I had been elected to read the eulogy. I really wanted it to be nice for Papa Dave, and have it be a way for people to remember the important events of his life, but I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to make it through without becoming emotional. I said lots of prayers before hand, and thankfully it turned out okay. I was honored to be able to give him that last gift.

I was so touched that the two women I teach 1st grade with both came to the wake service. I am not even sure how they found out about it, since school isn't in session, but it meant so much to me that they took the time to show they care. All of Charlie and Sammy's daycare teachers from school also came, and one of them came up to me and said, "So what time should I come to your house tomorrow to babysit?" What a gift! We had thought we would have to take Charlie and Sam with us to the funeral service. (Have I mentioned lately how naughty Sammy is at church?) It was so very nice to be able to sit quietly and listen to the Mass without having to chase toddlers. I am so glad I had the peace to take it all in and pay attention. It was such a considerate thing for her to do. I am so thankful for the people I am blessed to work with.

The funeral itself was beautiful. The priest gave a very nice homily, and he weaved personal facts about my grandpa throughout the service. At the graveside, there was a 21 gun salute, a bugle player who played "Taps", and a military honor guard. 65 years ago today my Papa Dave was on a boat headed for D-Day and Omaha Beach as a part of the first wave of soldiers to hit the beach in the invasion. He would have been so proud to see all of the military honors at the service. His service during WWII was the defining event of his life.

Even though the occasion was sad, it was really nice to see out of town family. We usually only get to all be together at Christmas, so we took advantage of the unexpected time to be together.

It is sad for us, his family, to say good-bye to him today, but I am so filled with joy in the knowledge that he is with Jesus in heaven, and that he is finally free of the prison Alzheimers had made of his mind and body. I can't imagine how wonderful it must have felt to have control of his thoughts again, and I know he is having a delightful time telling stories to all of his friends and family, just like he used to. We will miss his presence here on Earth, but I am so thankful that his struggles here are over.

God Bless you Papa Dave. We love you.

1 comment:

The Funeral Lady said...

It sounds like you are truly surrounded by good people. I'm so sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing this story about your grandpa's funeral. What a lovely farewell. All my best, Pam

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