Took a wreath to dh’s dad’s grave today – after calling his sister-in-law, who she and her husband, his brother, have basically taken over keeping the flowers and flag on it; they seem to be the only ones who care. Nobody else in the family hardly ever goes, but then, really, what is the point of looking at a headstone engraved with his name? it’s not like he’s there – but there is the element of showing respect – but then what is it about seeing the marker at the same place of the little girl? she’s not there either but we don’t want to forget her either. I would have loved, in a way, to have read a poem or something at her service but it just seems like that’s something that just isn’t done. I think I’ve come to decide there’s something different in a funeral service and a eulogy; an eulogy is what’s done to remember the one who’s passed while a funeral service serves to remind those left behind how fragile life can be. I knew there was something missing to her service, however, and it was the pallbearing part – you know, the bearing of the pall, a word we don’t use much anymore, don’t really think about what the word “pallbearer” literally means. It was a rainy day, so that was dispensed with; the funeral home just did it themselves, which I know, really, they really do anyway; not even sure “pallbearers” are really needed, just a remnant of bygone days, a ceremonial gesture of closure for those asked to serve in that regard, but something needed for that purpose for those that was denied, in this case, I’m thinking specifically for dad, unlike
in this first case, which, maybe that was enough, maybe it would have been too much, to have had to have done it again, so maybe the rain was a blessing, as is maybe the fact that the first is laid to rest between, now, my parents, her great-grandparents, since she’s there and her parents have moved away down here and especially since dad probably couldn’t bring himself to go see – see what, her? no, she’s not there – and actually, though, there’s not even a stone marker there – something that should be corrected – actually, with the laying of my parents, is the metal marker even still there? I didn’t see it when we took dad there, something I’ve intended to check on….but anyway, dad was a pallbearer of his first; oh, how wrenching to have to carry your little one, especially your first little one, in a box to be placed in a hole in the ground;
we were so thankful for all who came to her service, especially people from the church I grew up in who just “happened” – snowflakes again – to see it in the paper and see mom and dad’s name as great-grandparents and came, especially, as would be assumed, I supposed, people who were special to me growing up there – my junior high Sunday School superintendent; granted, as much, again, for mom, who worked in that dept. as secretary, for years, as for me, maybe not even for me, maybe only for her, but still he was special to me, as is that time in your life, but also I think because of his own life – he was considerably older before he found a wife and was able to start a family, I think because of some physical issues he had (something was wrong with his face that I never knew what) – and, though I can’t think of a specific role she had in my life, I like to think it’s more because of her life – the “daughter” but not really – of our pastor and his wife – she was really one of theirs niece – just realized never knew which one – that they never adopted; she never had their name – ironic, considering, but her last name was Riddle – somehow just always got the idea that although they raised her, they never – nor did she, though I could be wrong – really considered her part of their family; not sure if that had anything to do with her never getting married and/or having a family either. In this case, unlike with mom and dad, where we had a meal at that church in their building, welcoming many of my family on both sides each time, and with her mom, where the meal was served at her grandmother’s church this time it was more handled by dil’s family, who had the meal at a community center close to where her grandparents lived. Then, just like with the hospitalization, things were still chaotic with son’s work related to him having missed work for being at the hospital leading to financial issues that had to be dealt with, which led to the incidents that just escalated, leaving no time for dealing with the actual loss, no wonder things went the way they did, leading to getting away from there and coming back down here, along with some other things.
while this other one is here and they live now just down the road, dad still doesn’t go anymore than dh goes to see, again, what, his dad; again, no, just a stone marker with their names engraved. Again, so thankful for all, from my new church home and family, who came to her service. And again, one very special “snowflake” – while I was in Boston with her I met a very special lady who had adopted a baby who’d been born through a surrogate pregnancy that the biological parents then were refusing, actually insisting that the surrogate abort, after finding out she had a heart defect – well, actually way more than just that, unlike ours – so, blows my mind, she takes her two biological children, quits her job – now this is after she’s posted on social media, not sure where, the situation, and this lady I met at the hospital, offered to adopt this child – goes to this other state, where she will, as the birth mom, have the legal rights, to this family, who then pay for the rest of her prenatal care and then, indeed, adopt this child, having already adopted at least one more, who’s blind and does have a heart defect already, as well as possibly some more; anyway this particular child is in the hospital while we’re there – and as an aside, this child, while ours, who supposedly doesn’t have as much wrong with her, is gone, hers, in spite of multiple hospitalization, is thriving – and her mother in law is there taking care of her other children, bringing them to the hospital to see their sister and taking them to special events the hospital would have, like, in particular, the free Boston Pops concert, but turned out she actually lived down here where we do, so when we lost our little girl, told this lady who then told her and she made a 3 hr. trip up here for the service and then also stayed for the meal our church graciously served at our church building, thanks especially to a very special lady from our church who took her under her wing and made her feel very welcome – again, another “snowflake” – thank you so much for all the wonderful people. Also to the so many, this time, who so generously, also opened their pockets to help them financially – or maybe us – to make this one so much different than before, which helped them weather the next few months and him be able to finish that semester of school without having to worry anymore than the usual situation about their finances, which helped make things better then when that semester was over, as far as being able to then go back to full-time work, in his field he’d been going to school for. A snowfall. They did still live in town at that point, although that was the beginning of them moving out here, not necessarily close to her, but close to us, but more, in many ways, just to be out in the country again, where they both were raised and him ending up having jobs, since they’d only moved where they were because they thought they had to when they thought they were going to be bringing her home; they needed to get out of there. So the timing of this post is uncanny because it was around this time last year when it really began to be time, not even sure why so long; well, yes, I am; it actually had been time for a while, but they/we’d signed a lease when they moved there that they wanted to be responsible about, not like when they’d lost their other one and came down but then broke that one when things got to be too much – (plus her mother was still alive but dying at that point) and had realized the repercussions but also that mostly applied to staying in town anyway – out here those type things don’t really matter so much, especially – another snowflake – a house, not a trailer or apartment – which they were living in a house by then anyway, but this one was much nicer, had been remodeled, unlike the one they were in, that no one was willing to do – owned by a couple we know, even go to church with his dad, that owner finance them, so they could even buy without all the credit stuff – truly a real blessing of a “snowflake”; they could really begin to settle in….
after the loss of 2 children, but still having 1 left to help them through, which she has done a lot to help mom and dad both to keep their senses about them with that –
she does miss the last one and will talk about her; she got to know her and spend time with her but she never knew her other grandmother but so makes you wonder about some things sometimes; she was playing just the other day and all of a sudden just stopped and said to her mother that her mother had died and was in heaven playing/taking care of her sisters, hm….
Just as an aside, one special “snowflake” I want to point out who came to my dad’s visitation was his nurse at the local VA clinic, who probably drew his blood every week for years – loved her so for the care she took of him. Everybody who had much to do with Daddy loved him.