Saturday, March 10, 2007

Where to begin ....

Dad passed away at 11:15 AM on March 8. All six of the children were there in the room. Several of the spouses and several of the grandchildren as well. We were all gathered round his bed. Some of us were singing, "Come home, come home, ye who art weary, come home." It was peaceful and calm. There was a wonderful spirit in the room. God came and took his dear friend home with Him.

We moved quickly after that. We scattered, made arrangements, wrote the obituary, picked out many pictures to copy and display, and got things in order. The visitation was Friday night at the funeral home. There were more than a thousand people there in the four hours of the visitation. There were ninety-one flower arrangements delivered. The director eventually had to put them all over the lobby as there was no more room in the room or foyer.

Saturday, there was visitation at the church for two hours before the services. There were about four hundred friends that attended the services. It was a celebration above all else and above all others I have ever seen. Dad touched so many lives in this lifetime. He loved people and was always willing to help anyone. Friends came from far and wide to join the celebration of a life well lived. Someone asked me how old Dad was. I told them that he was 76 years old and that he lived every minute of it. He filled his life with friends and surrounded himself with love.

Rev. Wineinger preached the services. He told of a time he was with Dad after a service. Several people from the church went out to eat and were scattered at tables round about. When the food arrived, Dad announced that we were going to pray before eating. He was talking the folks from the church, but everyone in the place stopped for the prayer. The waitress came to the table about that time and Dad asked her is she wanted to join him in prayer. She dropped to her knees and bowed her head. Dad covered her hand in his and prayed. When he was finished, she raised up with tears in her eyes, and told him thanks, she needed that. Such was this wonderful man.

Everyone that came to the two visitations or the funeral could tell stories like that. He was a remarkable man. I always figured that most people felt about their dads the way I felt about mine. However, today I discovered that most people that knew him, felt about my dad the way that I did as well.

Afterwards, we went to Mom and Dad's house (it will always be that way) and fellowshipped with family. The outpouring of love from friends was phenomenal.
On Monday, we will have a private interment service at a nearby military cemetery where Dad wished to be buried.

As I looked at him, I told a dear family friend, "This is what we recognized, but the man we knew is singing in the choir in heaven."

1 comment:

Retro Girl said...

It was good to talk to you tonight. The pride, deep love and admiration I heard in your words and voice touched me deeply.

Your dad sounds like a truly amazing man who deeply touched the lives of everyone he met. I wish I'd known him. But--you know, I kinda feel like I do, for knowing you. I know he had to be fiercely proud of you.

I will keep your family in my prayers. I luv you my friend. Luv my Tammy-sis too! *Hugs*

Take care of each other...