Had the memorial for my uncle yesterday… it was hard. Harder than I guess I expected it to be. His nephew gave a beautiful eulogy that brought tears to my eyes just listening. Avie sat on my lap during the service and when she whispered in my ear, “Uncle Dick can hear this”, I almost started crying. I honestly don’t know if there’s such a thing as Heaven, but holding her and seeing the conviction on her face when she said the words, I sincerely wanted to believe that there is…so I nodded in agreement. Wherever he is, I’m sure he would have been humbled and proud, of everyone.
Because he was a Navy Veteran, a couple Navy officers were there and they performed the military honors during the service. Naturally, I cried during the playing of “Taps” and when I watched them present my aunt with the flag and saw her just start sobbing…it was something I don’t think that I’ll ever forget. I mean, it’s one thing to watch something like that on TV…but quite another to witness it first-hand. It was emotional. Beautiful and touching…and emotional.
My aunt is holding it together well…or as well as can be expected, I guess I should say. She broke down a few times that I saw–which was tough to watch. It’s hard seeing her like that…worse, knowing this hasn’t yet really sunk in for her. Once it does…I feel so bad for her. To lose someone that was literally your whole world–I don’t know how you handle that…how you survive. But as my grams said…she’s tough and she comes from strong stock…she’ll get through this. She will…I just think it’s going to be a long, long road for her. And I hate to see her, someone I love and respect so much, go through that. I think anyone would.
It was weird being at their place, though. I went up there with my mother when I got into town Friday morning to see my aunt and get all the pictures for the collage I was supposed to do for the service. The first thing I did when I walked through the door was look towards the direction of the couch where he was sitting the last time I saw him on Memorial Day, when I said goodbye to him and he smiled and waved. It felt strangely empty, him not being there. Just weird altogether.
He was a good man though…someone who won’t soon be forgotten, as his nephew reiterated in his eulogy yesterday. Not by us or anyone who knew him. And certainly not by my aunt…who was reminded of his love Friday afternoon when she decided to go ahead and order flowers for the service, despite the fact that he wasn’t a fan of flowers and had expressed his desire for there to NOT be flowers at the service when they’d gone ahead of time and taken care of the funeral arrangements the month before he passed. She was telling us as she broke down in tears how she opened his wallet at the florist and there was the money and a note in there that indicated it was for the flowers. How he knew…I don’t know. But it was a sweet gesture…just a reminder of how special and amazing he truly, truly was. I’ll miss him. So much.
“Those we love don’t go away.
They walk beside us everyday.
Unseen, unheard, but always near.
Still loved, missed, and very dear.”