We all rode up together, my dad and my stepmother and my sister and I. He picked me up around 7:15 this morning, and we arrived in his (my) hometown a little after 9 a.m. It may be in another state, but it isn't that far away time-wise. It was a pleasant drive up, and when we got into town we immediately located two of his sisters and some of my cousins (and some of their spouses/kids) so we could travel together out to the cemetery for the graveside service. We were early, but there were already plenty of people there, and more trickled steadily in. By the time we were herded over to the tent, I would say there were 100-125 people in attendance, mostly family but a good number of people from town as well, and I don't quite think the officiant knew what he was in for. After the officiant read the obituary and a couple of Bible verses, my Uncle Steve (I have two Uncle Steves, but this is the one I'm biologically related to) stood up and said a few words in his role as self-proclaimed family spokesman. And even in the midst of telling serious stories, the brothers and sisters (see pic)...
|My dad and his 11 siblings|
… couldn't resist taking the odd shot at one another or sharing even more tidbits. Laughter at a funeral - who knew? To be honest, I think my grandfather would have approved. He didn't believe in dwelling on things. If there was something to be done, you got up and did it. His work ethic was one of the things that got passed on to his kids… and subsequently, most of his grandkids as well. If I do say so myself, we're a fairly successful bunch.
After the service ended at the graveside, nobody hurried away sad and forlorn. We stayed and talked, despite the heat (we were all grateful for a breeze), and then we all headed to one of the local churches for lunch. It was LOUD with all of us in there, but it was a good sort of loud. There was talking and laughter and hugging and yes, sometimes tears, but mostly it was just a good sort of get-together with lots of catching up.
I'm back home now. The drive back home was nearly as good as the drive up (my sister and I were happily be-bopping and singing along to various 60s tunes in the back seat), and while I would absolutely love nothing more than to stay on this couch with my feet up, I can't. Doodlebug is resting in his room, and Boo will be home soon. I'll fix them some dinner, and then Doodlebug and I are going to attend the OneRepublic concert tonight. I really don't want to go because I'm so tired, but I've made a commitment. No sense dwelling on things. There's something to be done, so I'll get up and do it!