Hi Stampers! I am home from work today because I have to work on Saturday and the company doesn't like to give out a lot of overtime, so I am enjoying my day off with Jared.
I went to my Uncle's wake on Monday evening. I was extremely saddened that day while waiting for 7 0'clock to roll around. I was dreading the trip to the funeral home. When we arrived I was struck by how many people were there and that somehow, someway, we were all related. There had to be at least 200 people there in that little funeral home. Most of them I had never met! I did not take my younger two children, so they stayed home with dad and I took Katie, who is 18. When we walked in, we were taken aback because he reminded us so much of my dad, her grandpa. So to see him brought us to immediate tears. We were also struck by a picture taken in 1956 that was in the casket with him.........it was a picture of both my dad and my uncle ages 19 and 23, respectively, in a bar in Japan. I wasn't expecting to see that picture. This infamous picture was at my dad's funeral as well 8 years ago. I knelt in front of the casket and sobbed. I discovered that this picture was my uncle's favorite and that he kept it in a frame at his bedside all these years. One of my cousins made several copies of this picture and gave them to anyone who asked. I learned many things about my Uncle that night as well as my dad from all the people who approached me, many of which I met for the first time. It was amazing that so many people were my cousins and I didn't know them! They all spoke so highly of my father, which was heart warming.
My Uncle looked peaceful and he had all of his favorite things with him; his hat, his military ribbons and buttons, letters, pictures, and even a deck of cards. There was laughter and stories and many tears but most of all I felt an overwhelming love in that room. It was a beautiful wake and a lovely celebration of his life. His funeral and burial won't be until the spring and he will have full military honors.
He was a strong, happy, funny and very much loved man! He will be sorely missed. Thank you to those who left comments for me here on my blog and as SCS. Your support has been wonderful and appreciated.