Tuesday, January 05, 2010

remembering my Dad

We honored him and remembered him. We celebrated his life. And we all came away blessed by the whole experience.
Hundreds of lifelong friends & family came to pay their respects to one of the kindest men they will ever know. We greeted these loved ones from 4-7 PM at the Sunday night visitation and then again at the 11 AM Monday morning funeral service.

The service was wonderful, truly momentous. The sharing, the music, the slideshow, the message all told the story of a man that lived a long, fulfilling, good life.

My brother Gary summed it up so well when he shared that- "Dad never worked a day in his life. Farming was his calling."

Gary goes on to share that-
"Dad was meant to farm, because it never seemed like work to him. He enjoyed all of it, so much so that he spent his free time cutting thistles in the fields or trimming weeds under the electric fence. You see, Dad spent as much time grooming the farm as he did farming it."

That was my Dad.

And my Dad would have loved the weather. So perfect. The sunshine warming our faces at the graveside service... the bright blue sky, the glistening snow, the Pastor's powerful message, the VFW military gun salute and taps, presenting the flag to my Mom... truly stunning. A visual I will never forget.

My siblings- Ron, Gary, Kevin, Ginny, me & Kathy.

The cousins.

After the graveside service we gathered in the basement of the little Lutheran church and ate a wonderful, hardy meal. No one does it better than the Norwegian Lutherans, as Garrison Keillor would say. I couldn't agree more. What a special meal.
You see, that's the best part... the blessing when a loved ones passes on. We gather together for a reunion... to reconnect, reminisce and remember. I talked to friends and family I had not seen in years. We all left hours later all the better for having spent time with those that loved and knew my Dad best.
Truly an unforgettable day.

I miss you Dad.


ceekay said...

He sounds like a wonderful man. I know these first few months are so hard. I have lost both my parents and a very close uncle....but you have wonderful memories to sustain you. You are blessed!

Skerrib said...

Love this post Linda!

Karen said...

How beautifully written. My husband and I have lost all of our parents and it's truly a difficult time. So glad that you had such wonderful family and friends to share in the joy of your dad's life. I love the part about the farming as my father-in-law was just that same type of farmer... stewards of the land!
Hugs to you and your family,
Ladybug Creek

Judi said...

What a sweet telling of a bittersweet time.

NanAZ said...

So thankful that the day was spent filled with love...it's clear that your dad had a wonderful life and the love of many friends and family.

Sandy said...

Very touching, Linda. I know your Dad was a great man.
When you talked about eating in the Lutheran basement, I thought of GK before I read his name! Funny uh?

Love, S

Laurie said...

How lovely it all sounds. It is great that you were able to give your father a loving and memorable send-off. I am sure he was looking on fondly.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

So sorry to hear of your dad's passing! But what a touching tribute to a wonderful man. May the memories live on.

kristen said...

What an awesome post...I love have an amazing family!