Tuesday, January 9, 2007

I Want One Like That

This past Sunday, I was invited to play with the band at Russ' memorial service. The deceased was an all-around good guy by all accounts. We had been at a Halloween party together (he and his wife had matching pumpkin costumes) and had seen each other around a few times. I had never seen him without a smile. He had cancer, and knew the end may be near. At his request, the event was casual - the dress code was jeans and T-shirts. Over 500 people gathered to remember and celebrate his life. A 5-piece band played a few of his favorite tunes, and finished with an a capella version of How Great Thou Art. The pastor summed up his life in about 15 minutes, describing his childhood, courtship, marriage, early career (a traveling bohemian comb salesman, selling by day and partying with his new bride at night), and eventual settling down to family and success. He was described as an exceptional father; he always had time for his three children. It was a lively, entertaining, and engaging story. When the pastor finished, he invited those who knew him to say a few words. His youngest son came up and shared some of his favorite jokes. "You know, this Thanksgiving turkey tastes a lot like a dead bird." Sense of humor was the constant - he was always interested in making people smile. Several people had stories to tell, and all were touched by his sincerity, faith, and care for people. When the music was finished and the band left the stage, I found a seat next to Boy in the back. He was wearing his winter coat, zipped up to the neck. For an hour he sat, fully zipped up. All through the reception with sandwiches and killer chocolate cake, he was bundled against some imaginary chill. We returned home and he finally tossed his coat into the closet. I discovered he was wearing his T-shirt from this season's marching band theme. I think Russ would have found it funny. I sure did.

1 comment:

rennratt said...

Your son deserves a hug for his thoughtfulness.

I wish I had seen a t-shirt like that at my mum's funeral, though.