Funeral Visit

I would so much like to thank all of you for your prayers, kind thoughts and words of encouragement. The trip was long. I was thankful to have learned a lot from reading Pops’s accounts of his father’s last days because I was somewhat prepared for the emotional roller-coaster ride. I kept telling everyone that in times like this it is easy to get upset and start fighting at the drop of a hat and not only dropped mine once but threw it on the ground. Well, not literally, but I would have if I had been present. I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings (really); and I have no scripture at all to back this up so I realize that it is strictly my subjective feeling, but I do not believe in cremation at all. I think it is bizarre to burn up your loved one in a furnace and then put some of their ashes (You realize you aren’t given all of them, just a small portion of them, right? Also that there are many stories about people’s ashes being mixed with others, along with scraps of bone, etc.) In a bottle on your shelf. While I cannot find scripture actually condemning the practice, I can only find in the scripture where people were buried. At the resurrection and final judgment it won’t matter, of course, but it’s just my feeling that it is wrong. Maybe if you were guaranteed that you would get all of the person’s ashes and only theirs and could divide them up amongst all the family members who would want some…I don’t know…I can’t make it work for me. You do what you want to with your own family, but don’t try to persuade me. I can’t be made to believe otherwise and don’t “get” the romance or beauty of it.
Anyway, I wanted to give mom a decent, Christian burial and could not believe that someone would have the nerve to suggest that we save money (and only for the purpose of saving money) and do a cremation. I couldn’t believe that someone who is not even a legal part of the family would try to convince one of us (because of the money) to do this. I hope someone sees through this person but I think my dad already does, which is the most important thing. He may be 80 and have cataracts but he can see what people are really made of and I think he will see through this person as well, which is all that matters. Anyway, that was a fuss for a short time until I put my foot down.
Fortunately for us, the funeral director is a close personal friend of the pastor, and they often play racquetball together. He was very good to us and even though he did it “on the cheap” (Read “at cost”) he was able to provide a very nice funeral and burial which the pastor of the church she attended for 31 years presided over and well within budgetary concerns, so that fight never got off the ground.
Another of the pastor’s racquetball partners is a man in the church who just bought a Bed & Breakfast. As you travel down Highway 29 East out of Bonduel on the left-hand side of the road is a large building which used to be a cheese factory (If you get to Doc’s Harley-Davidson you went too far) that was going to be demolished because the county was making a new highway and it didn’t have a proper driveway. They lived in the farmhouse at the bottom of the hill and made an arrangement to have the driveway come from their house up to the place on the hill. It is an old building that had the cheese factory in the bottom floor, the owner’s home on the main floor and some apartments on the top floor. They have beautiful hardwood floors and trim and the house overlooks a cornfield. I woke up with my cup of coffee and went and watched the sunrise over the mist. It was a truly relaxing place and the people treated us like friends and family, not customers. We are definitely going to stay there whenever we might get a vacation. (The church there did take up a collection to pay them, however.) The kindness of our own church helping to offset our traveling expenses along with the kindness of their church toward us sure made things a lot easier let me tell you.
Ben and Isabel and Savannah were unable to go with us and Troy couldn’t go, so I was the only driver. Ashley stayed here with Janet and Grandma, so we just had baby Douglas and his mommy and Abigail and Tabitha. Anyway, after traveling 1200 miles with 3 sisters and a baby (Margaret wasn’t too much trouble, lol.) I was weary in body and mind as well as spirit and the bed was a most welcome sight.
At the funeral, my brother’s girlfriend read a beautiful tribute she had written about my mom then Pastor H. preached the actual funeral. When a person has been in church for 31 years and is known to spend hours in prayer and Bible reading, and to have lived consistently, it is easier to handle and the sermon was wonderful, with an appropriate touch of humor in a couple of spots along with the hope that we have in the resurrection. My other brother’s girlfriend (neither one married, much to mom’s consternation) provided a beautiful dress and overall support, especially emotional support to my youngest brother who was really close to mom. My mom read her Bible from cover to cover completely once or twice every year and my dad and brothers decided to put it in the casket with her, which was a nice and fitting touch.
About the saddest thing was that several times my dad remarked that if she had only lived one more day it would have been their 46th wedding anniversary.
Mom and my aunt were very close and my aunt was really broken up over the whole thing. They used to go to every garage sale in town and visit every thrift store. One of my mom’s brothers was their also. I don’t really know him at all When the children (13 of them) were young they were all taken away and put in different foster homes and many have lost touch and bonding with each other. The aunt who was there is the sister that took her rummage sale-ing everyday and helped her out a lot.
During her life my mother had battled a variety of mental illnesses, most of which were brought on by her lost childhood and youth that made her sensitive to people with special needs who often are friendless or nearly so. The room was crowded with many of these folks from around town who talked about how my mom was a true friend to them. It was really something.
The trip to the cemetery went past a couple of garage sales and led to a couple of humorous remarks about making it past without stopping and this got a chuckle out of my dad, which was good. At the dinner at the church a man came up to me that I have known since I was 15. He is the man that witnessed to my mom and dad all those years ago and invited them to church. He was impacted by the idea of seeing someone that he had witnessed to come to their final rest as a strong, full-time believer. Had it not been for him, it is likely that none of my family would have ever gotten in church and fairly certain that I would not be typo-ing, er, typing this for you now.
Remember, The Good Book says, “The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.” And my dad says, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
P.S.
I plan to start back to blog-hopping again tomorrow, so make sure you update!

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