13 July 2011

a service of remembering: papaw's memorial service.

my paternal grandfather was a colorful man.  he died not remembering who i was.
he died the day after his 83rd birthday in his sleep back in december.
he wanted to go and be with his mother, a woman i loved fiercely as a child.

 he worked for 43 years as a truck driver.  he loved trucks.

he attended many baseball games and football games.
he loved MSU (mississippi state university bulldogs).

he was police in the MS national guard for over 30 years.  he loved america.

july 4th weekend was a good time to plan for family to gather
and to hold his memorial service & burial.  so, we did seven months after he died.

at his memorial service the national guard color guard played taps.
they shot weapons.
they presented a flag.

his ashes, along with his two pets were laid to rest in a truck toolbox ((new)) that held mementos from family, MSU items, and other significant pieces that marked his life loves.  there's a time capsule of stories surrounding him.

we watched and listened as a psalm was read.  
((i believe it was a psalm... but that memory is no longer with me.))

and we buried him.  using shovels we lifted the dirt and poured it on the truck box, buried beneath the red mississippi soil in the cemetery between his oldest son & his father, my papaw rests.

we will remember.  my sweet boy will remember.  as we dig in the dirt, we will remember.  as we see another grave dug, we will remember.  we honor those we love that die.  we honor them with tears and with laughter.  with song and with story.  with fireworks and with watermelon.  we honor them by showing up when we can.  we honor them by remembering.  remembering what is good.  forgiving what  we might have hoped for but couldn't receive through their hands.  we reach out to those still living and show comfort. we share the tears and the laughter because we know this place, this grieving remembering place.  we hurt because we love.  we love because we are made to do so.  and we can certainly love well.

my papaw was honored colorfully and wonderfully for his life and his presence in the world.

 it was a good service.  
it was a good burial.  

it was good because it was just so.

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