Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Great Grandpa's Funeral

Dear Little Angel,

     Our previous post has told the story of the passing of your Great-grandfather and the legacy of family, hard work and faith he has left behind.  The funeral was attended by many friends and members of his extended family. The church was crowded, with every seat in the chapel taken.  The large middle section was completely filled, bench after bench with his eight children, their children and their children's children, over a hundred forty people strong.  The ceremony of his life was a wonderful time to reflect as each of us smiled as stories were shared, laughed as memories where recalled, and cried as each of us faced the realization our grandfather's story's final chapter had been written, no more quick witted one liner words of wisdom to be shared.   At the conclusion of the services, the long line of cars slowly followed the Hurst as it made it's slow procession through the country lanes, up the partially snow covered road to the top of a hill where grandfather's final resting spot lay in Milton's Pioneer Cemetery.  The trail of cars that had paused for a moment as the traffic slowed found their front drive vehicles refused to proceed forward as their tires slipped and spun struggling to find traction.  A few people jumped out to help, pushing the cars from behind until the roadway could be cleared and the all the family arrived at the plot where the grave set open, waiting for the casket to be placed at it's mouth.  Directly in front of the casket, set his once brunette bride of sixty-four years, wrapped in a blanket as her striking blue eyes watched while her sons and son-in-laws as pallbearers carried their father in a beautifully crafted pine casket from the back of the Hurst across the snow covered ground and carefully set it above it's final resting place.  Uncle Pete stepped up to the side of the casket and preceded to sing the words to a somber song, "Going Home."  As his deep perfectly toned voice captured every one's thoughts and hearts, my attention was directed to my grandmother.  As we reflected on the words of the song, I watched as people attempted to comfort the sorrows of their mother and grandmother as she buried her face in the blanket wrapped around her shoulders while she wept at the passing of her eternal companion.
  The cemetery scene could not have been more beautiful.  The ground was masked in a thin crusted layer of snow.  The panoramic view was awe inspiring.  The mountains surrounded the valley were covered in blue-white snow crested by dark blue skies stripped with white clouds that mirrored the shape of the wind blown sands.  The country cemetery was silent .  The only sound was the gentle wisp of the wind as it flowed down through the valley.  After final goodbyes were said, family and friends walked to their cars to return to the chapel for a family meal where we could reminist once again of our lost loved one.  

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