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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Monday, March 31, 2008

long day

When I arose at 4am on Sunday I knew that it was going to be a very long day. I went to the kitchen, took my meds, some vitamins and ate cereal to crank up my day. Time was taken to read some scripture, aware that I would need every verse and word. Then I gathered up the garment bag containing my suit, shirt and tie, as well as my other bag with shoes, socks and toilet articles.

Out the door at 5:20am, I gave my older bro (OB) a wake-up call – it takes about 30 minutes to get to his place. He was in his car waiting when I arrived and I put my stuff in his trunk and we headed west on I-20. A little over an hour later we met YB (younger bro) and his wife (YBW) at the Waffle House located at exit 130. We loaded their stuff in the trunk and continued on to northeastern MS and uncle AG's funeral.

This trip is over 400 miles from my house and we made it there w/o incident and went first to my older sister’s place. After visiting a while, we changed clothes and drove to the funeral home/chapel in Red Bay, AL – about 10 miles away. I visited with my aunt and other friends and family, the casket was closed and all moved into the chapel for this sad, final service.

Another nephew of uncle AG spoke, then one of his granddaughters gave a very moving eulogy and their one-time pastor spoke the main message. After the congregation was dismissed, we pallbearers moved into position and lifted the flag-draped casket from its carriage into the hearse. The cars then lined up and followed this somber vehicle the 20 or so miles to the cemetery.

We carried the casket out to the gravesite and rolled it onto the framework over the open grave. Then their present pastor spoke a very appropriate and heart-felt message. This ceremony was a military one; due to his WWII service and at this point someone at a distance played “taps” – a sad, lonely and haunting kind of sound that one can hear in their mind a long time.

Then the two-man honor guard ceremoniously removed and folded the flag, presented it to the officer in charge and he presented it to my aunt. We drove back to my older sister’s to change back into traveling clothes, bid her farewell and went by the aunt’s place on the way out. Food had been brought in so we ate a bite while commiserating with the family members there.

We soon said our goodbyes and started out for home about 7:30pm – our time, since it was an hour earlier out there. YB drove first and when we were at about the halfway point, I took over for the rest of the trip. We delivered YB and YBW back to their car at the Waffle House at exit 130 about 1am on Monday morning. We were back to OB’s by 2:10am – I put my stuff in the truck and headed home.

I arrived back home at 2:45am and was one tired puppy. I was grateful for the safe trip and glad we were able to go out and comfort the family somewhat. God is good, all the time! ec


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

long day indeed ... but for a worthy cauzse

3/31/2008 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Funerals and the travel to and from them, especially over long distances, can be quite exhausting.

Blessings to you, Mr. E.

4/01/2008 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr. Eddie ~~ What a very long day.
My condolences on the loss of your uncle. I am so glad you got his story and recorded it.
You have been busy the last few posts
I hope you get the rain you want.
We had an enormous storm and rain, which I missed, because I was away.
Thank you for your concern for my niece, Vicki. I hope they schedule her op soon and that it goes well.
Take care, my friend, Regards, Merle.

4/01/2008 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger JunieRose2005 said...

These times are always very sad for us.

Am very glad you and your folks had a safe trip there and back home!


Hope your birthday today is a Happy one! :)


4/01/2008 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger itsboopchile said...

I suppose it is my age but the tears came reading your post. Thank you for the way you wrote it.
Betty G

4/01/2008 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

AC - Right, and our being there did seem to encourage the family.

SSN - Thanks. It definitely wore us all out - but it's just something families do, or at least should do.

merle - Thank you - he was of the old school, the way men should be. He and his wife had been married 69 years.

junierose - Thanks. As odd as it sounds, death is just a part of life. He was a good man that left us a lot of good memories.

The birthday is going great but they are not quite the deal they used to be. :)

itsboopchile - Thanks for the kind words, our WWII vets are getting fewer and fewer. ec

4/01/2008 10:48:00 AM  

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