"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." ~~Thomas Jefferson

"Who will protect us from those who protect us?"

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. ~ Thomas Jefferson

"None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free." ~~Goethe

04 April 2017

Funeral for a friend...

She was 83 years old.

She was a friend of the family.  A friend of my parents.  She knew my kids...

I met her when I was 6 or 7.  She knew all 5 of my brothers and sisters.  All younger.  ;)

She had 7 kids of her own.  23 grand kids, 22 greats and a great on the way.

I took her daughter's graduation photos, then her wedding photos.  I took her youngest daughter's graduation photos.  She came to my Confirmation.  And my wedding.  And the funerals of my parents.

She use to call me from the other side of town.  Their water heater wasn't working.  Or the stove.  Or the furnace.  She had 5 sons.  I am the same age as her oldest.  We grew up together.  She didn't call them.  She called me.  I will admit that she pissed me off a couple of times because there was nothing wrong.  She just wanted to talk.  Her and Harvey.  Her husband since 1951.  He has been gone for a bit over two years.  Scout leader.  Wore his soul and his beliefs on his sleeve.  I would get in the car and drive across town.  I'd take tools.  I'd tinker and then drink coffee and talk.  They would ask about my parents, who were in Arizona at the time.  Both gone now.

I learned to play checkers in her living room on Avalon.  She use to bake oatmeal raisin cookies.  We would eat them while they were still warm.  She had a crazy laugh.  She always had people over.

Her kids didn't treat her well.  They were all there today.  A lot of family members.  Kids.  Grands.  Greats.

And 7 friends.  It made me sad.  My wife was working today so I went alone.  I talked to everyone.  My middle son was on the road.  Driving.  Hauling a combine to Moorhead.  They liked him.  He was special to them.  I wish he could have been here.

Her and Harvey would sometimes go for a drive and they would end up here, at my house.  We would drink coffee and talk. Harvey couldn't drive by then.  Shirley shouldn't have.  ;)  But they got around.  Together.

I sang in church today.  I go to church regularly.  I believe.  I rarely sing in church.  I leave that to my wife.  But today...  Today I was alone, so I sang.  How Great Thou Art...  Not likely going to happen again, anytime soon.  It felt right today.

83 years old.  Family.

7 friends.

A service that lasted less than an hour, then a committal service at the graveside.  10 minutes.

83 years and that is what it comes to.  Family.  A few friends.  An hour.

I talked to my son a while ago.  He is in his sleeper in Grand Meadow.  I know he is thinking about Shirley tonight.  

Sad that it comes to this.  I don't know what would be better...

Whiskey is helping.  A little.


Vicki said...

I am sorry. Friendships like this are so rare. It may have come down to family, a few friends and an hour, but before that was a lifetime of building memories. Thank you for sharing some of them with us. She was the kind of person I wish I had known.

Jester said...

Seems that is what a lot of us are.

Anonymous said...

When people live that long, many of their friends and family have passed away themselves. Many of the survivors are caught up in their lives, not realizing that not keeping up with their older relatives will be regretted later on. People always figure that everyone lives forever. Until they don't.

You sound like you were the exception to the above. You kept in touch with them. I hope your friend passed away peacefully. Be glad that she and her husband are again reunited.

Linda said...

I've been to so many funerals in the past 20 or so years. So many friends and relatives are reaching the 'dying' age. The ones that were packed were the young ones that died. I rather go to the old ones.

I hope my kids will continue to stay in touch. We see them a couple of times a year, but we really aren't part of their everyday lives, but at the end of ours, maybe they and the the grands will all be able to come. By that time, I'll be in my Heavenly home, along with your friend, Shirley, and we won't even care who was there at the service.

God bless you and her family in this time of loss.

Grog said...

"Sad that it comes to this. I don't know what would be better..."
Posting what you did about their lives is good enough, I'm sure they appreciated the time you spent with them.

Lana said...

I, too, am sorry for your loss. Linda & I am getting to the age that we attend more and more funerals. Even for people I don't know. I'm so fortunate to have her and I hope you have someone for you.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss. I just buried my mom at 100 yrs & 1 mo. Just a few (3 or 4) old church ladies left. The rest were there for us. A fellow Marine I hadn't seen in 47 years was there. Last time we talked, he was on his way to Khe Sahn & I had just returned. Everyone from our little church family was there. Give thanks for friends. They truly are a blessing.

Blue said...

Thank you all for your kind words and your thoughts. I know we all experience this in one way or another, at some time in our lives. I can look back at our relationship and feel blessed that we had it. I remember her calling me just to talk. Usually about her kids. She and Harvey worked hard to raise their kids right. To give them a good home and to instill some solid values. It didn't always work out that way. Maybe they tried too hard? She would cry and ask what they had done wrong. I would tell her that I didn't think they did anything wrong. They tried to raise their kids the way my parents raised us, the way parents raised kids in the 50s and 60s. She said a couple of them were just "bad seeds". I am thankful that all of them were there yesterday. And no fighting. That is always a plus. ;)

Again, thank you all for the kind words and the sharing. It is good.


Miss Fortune said...

I totally identify with all of it. Thanks for sharing. Made me cry.

Dink Newcomb said...

Sorry about the loss of a positive part of your life Blue but please do not feel "sad that it comes to this"
Without cynicism, I will ask you how could you celebrate a quiet life better than to send her off by being there and remembering her.
I am a tired ole rude cynical agnostic but I believe in the mystical positive affects of prayer and at the bottom line, those shared farewells are just group prayers. You'll never forget her and she has made her mark and moved on.

Blue said...

Miss Fortune, Dink... Thank you both. ;)