There is always an element of sadness to a funeral because someone who was special to you in some way is now absent from this life. But funerals also serve the purpose of bringing old friends and distant family together, sometimes after many years of separation.
Lil's funeral was last Wednesday. The weather forecast was not good for the day of the visitation or for the funeral the next day, so Doug and I decided to drive to the small town where Doug's brother, Dennis, lives...about an hour away from us and about a half hour from the smaller town where the funeral was to be...and spend the night in a hotel there. That way, Dennis could ride with us to the funeral home.
We had freezing rain Tuesday morning. By the time we left home in the early afternoon, all the trees and bushes and fences were coated with a heavy layer of ice. Fortunately, though, the roads were okay.
When we left the hotel to go out for an early supper with Dennis, the snow had begun falling. The wet snow quickly decorated everything it touched with it's beautiful whiteness. But it kept many people at home who might otherwise have come to the visitation time.
By Wednesday, the day of the funeral, there was an accumulation of four or five inches of snow on the ground; the temperature was a degree above freezing; the wind was calm; and the snow was still falling. The final service at the graveside couldn't have had a more beautiful setting.
I didn't think it would be appropriate to whip my camera out and start taking pictures at the cemetery, but I did snap a few through the windshield on the way to the funeral home that morning.
Doug's sister, Linda, and her husband, Larry, live about 750 miles (1200 km) from us, so we rarely see them. They had come back to their hometown for Lil's funeral and were staying there for several days. So we picked up Dennis yesterday and met Linda and Larry at a restaurant for supper.
Left to right: Me, Doug, Linda, Larry, and Dennis
After our meal, we went back to the hotel where Linda and Larry were staying; and the three siblings went through a box of old family photographs and memorabilia that had been stored in Lil's house until a few months ago, when she moved into an assisted living facility.
Dennis, Larry, Linda, and Doug
Doug, Linda, and Dennis hadn't all been together since their dad's death in 2001; and, even then, there hadn't been much "together" time. I'm glad we were able to spend those few hours together last night. Who knows if or when there will be another opportunity. Family is special. Sometimes we forget that.