We got back from KC yesterday evening. We had my grampy's wake Wednesday night and his funeral yesterday. Of course his soul had already left us but it was still sad to have our physical goodbye with him. There were some heartbreaking moments watching my grandma. When my uncle's band played To Each His Own, my granny and grampy's song. When they sealed the casket. At the graveside when she was presented with his flag for his service to our country. But there were some great moments, too.
Minus my sister who couldn't make it back from Oregon (but thankfully made it back to see him in August), it was the first time our entire family was together in a really long time. I was so glad to see my cousins! There was a lot of reminiscing. And there were a lot of smiles and laughing. The funeral was Catholic so I expected the traditional mass I was accustomed to from my youth. However, I really enjoyed some of the twists.
- In addition to the church choir singing traditional hymns meant to comfort, my uncle's band played songs that had personal meaning to us. That meant more tears but it allowed us to feel more connected to my grampy while we grieved.
- For the rest of my life, I will never forget the experience of watching the priest performing Jimi Hendrix's Angel, with the angel being referred to in the male gender, on his acoustic guitar. Jimi Hendrix, a priest, and an acoustic guitar! While it was groovy (I had to write it. The song, his appearance, they made me believe he was grieving the loss of the 70's) and refreshing because it was unique, I fought the urge to giggle.
- My aunt (who attended parochial schools from K-12) stumbling through saying the word Ecclesiastes during her reading. She was unable to get past the "E" and later told me she almost just said, "From the book of The Byrds." I wish she would have. My grandpa would have loved it.
- Hearing the Proverbs 31 wife described as a man. Still not sure I'm keen on the liberty taken with the change but interesting none-the-less. My grampy did emulate the whole passage. He just did it as a husband. A lot of you know the Proverbs 31 woman is my role model so feeling that connection to him was comforting.
- And the highlight of the funeral, watching my boys experience their first Catholic mass. Will stepping on toes and craning his neck to watch the priest sprinkle the casket with holy water. Both of them backpedaling and trying not to scrunch their noses when the incense drifted our way and overpowered their senses. Let's face it, there's a reason Frankincense isn't an option in the Glade aisle. The best moment of all was Caelan "Germophobe" McCracken's look of horror when he realized everyone drank the blood of Christ from the same cup.
When you're accustomed to grape juice served in Dixie cups and oyster crackers on a plastic platter provided self-serve style, hands raised in the air as people sing and sway to the music, and never needing to figure out if you're supposed to be sitting, standing, or kneeling, I'm sure Catholic mass is very intriguing!
Now that the most difficult parts are behind us, I get to focus on something good, how to preserve my rose from Grampy's casket. My sister and I talked about pressing or gold plating them, really the only two options I knew of. Then she told me our mom knows a lady who can turn roses into beads. As I listened, I knew I had to do this. So I did what I know most of you, as crafters, would have done. I came home and Googled it to find out how to do it myself! I'll be making my beads this week.
In closing, I want to thank you all for your kind words on my last blog entry and on my Facebook account. Taking the time to leave words of support meant a lot to me!