A Funeral Day

It was just as in a movie. Overcast skies. The light a dull grey. A bit of chill in the air. Snow in piles still on the grass.

When I arrived I saw the hearse, a line of cars, a grieving widow and three people in military dress uniforms. Navy.

And Fred. Fred was the reason I was there. I did not know his older brother Gilbert. Older by only two years at age 85. I racked my brain to figure out if I had even met him. I must have. At Bobby’s (Fred’s older son and my friend for 46 years) wedding? At Fred’s or my Mom’s birthday party? I could not remember.

Fred is not one to talk much so I had not heard stories about his brother. I did not know until the funeral day that Gil had been in the Navy. Stormed the beach at Normandy. Was direct in his speech, hard on the outside but always willing to help anyone who needed it.

This was the first funeral for me with a military tribute. I have heard Taps on TV and in the movies. It is a different in person experience. Haunting, sorrowful, moving. An American flag was draped over the coffin. With military precision it was folded, ever so slowly and exactly and then handed from one officer to the next until it was presented to the widow. She was thanked on behalf of the President of the United States for the service of her husband.

This was followed by a talk by a rabbi. I had noticed the rabbi earlier. A perfect example of not judging a book by its cover. On the exterior he was disheveled. Older coat hanging poorly on his frame open to a sweater that was rolled in bunches. Yet when he spoke…Great voice and beautiful words.

Soon it was over. I walked the 25 steps to my mother’s gravesite to pay my respects. I had not been there often. My brother has. I keep wondering what if anything that says about me. I have been supremely sad since she died and I still talk to her. I think I need to go visit her more often.

I also need to pay more attention to the living. While he outwardly shows little emotion it has to make one feel one’s mortality when your sibling, only two year’s older dies. I do not spend enough time with Fred. That too will change.

 As we all got in our cars and headed home, I took one more look at the day. Definitely a funeral day.

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About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

5 Responses to A Funeral Day

  1. Dan says:

    This is a wonderfully-written, haunting and poignant mini-tribute. Well done.

  2. 48facets says:

    Thanks Dan. Always good to get feedback. Always good to hear from you.

  3. Pax Romano says:

    Great post, have you ever been published?

  4. 48facets says:

    Pax,
    That question coming from someone I believe is a great writer means a lot. I have only been published in the minds of my six readers.

    I have to admit that when I started this blog, I held this hope that I could become a columnist for some great publication and stop doing the work I have done for almost 30 years.
    Thanks to feedback like this the dream lives on.

  5. rwolf says:

    Thanks for being there (and for a lot of other stuff).

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