One thing about funerals — it brings the dearest people in your lives all together. Honestly, if someone is willing to attend a funeral — especially if they go out of their way to attend — well, it’s more than wonderful.
Yesterday, Jim, Jeanne, Jamie and I attended Christ Church Glendale — the church where my parents were married, where Jim and I were married, where our girls were baptized, and where the funeral services for my dad and grandparents were held. Having moved from Glendale in 1982, I don’t recognize many of the folks attending anymore, but this special church is one of several that supports our ministry in Ukraine. My family history goes waaaay back in this church, so there was a sense of comfort sitting in this beautiful sanctuary. In the pew next to the stained glass window with the plaque in memory of one of my relatives. It was interesting to note in the church bulletin that they remember families of those who died at this time in the past. And so right after the announcement that my brother had died last week was a reminder that my greatgrandmother had also died in May. A little odd seeing the name Marianna Matthews…I was named after her.
Anyway, back to friends. After the service we returned to Mom’s and a precious family was already there…thank you so much to ALL of the Carters for taking time out from a Mother’s Day celebration to remember our family. And to Aunt Wanda and Uncle Wilbur for making the drive AGAIN way down south to Glendale. And to Rob and Ginger. And Sue and her husband. Your smiles brought joy to our hearts. Today Gary and Karen are flying in from Maryland — can you believe that? We love you! I’m glad to have a touch of Salisbury here.
And ANNA flies in this morning. From Nepal. Only took her 35 hours. She SHOULD be in the air about now…from LA to Detroit? At least I know she’s in LA. And she’s flying into Cincinnati from Detroit. Maybe some other legs along the way.
We’re asking all the pallbearers to choose one of Doug’s ties to wear tomorrow. It is amazing how certain ties bring back specific memories to different friends. Jim is wearing the Christmas tie…figures!
And the priest from Christ Church also came over Sunday afternoon to go over the details of the service. Mom wants us all to follow the casket in to the church — as we have always done at family funerals. I am so thankful that God gives us the grace that we need AT THE TIME that we need it. I get a little teary-eyed at the THOUGHT of the casket. As it is now, we all just keep expecting to see Doug come into the room… A casket will put an end to THAT delusion!!
So, even though we’re all together for an event that we didn’t expect so soon, we still are all together. And feeling pretty good about the plans for the day tomorrow. This evening we’ll be available at Mom’s home to welcome friends who might just want to stop by, or who can’t make it to a morning service tomorrow. Come on over! We’d love to see you, and I promise that there will be laughter. Random tears. But way more laughter.