It's taken me a couple of days to process all that took place on Saturday. Thank you to those who have continued to pray! Your prayers have been felt without question. Thank you as well for the checks up however you've sent them.
Saturday morning, four of us headed out at 7:15 a.m..... my mother, her boyfriend, hubby, and myself. We decided it would be best to let the boys stay in G-town. That decision was not made lightly, but ended up being the right one without a doubt! We were gone a total of 12 hours...
Overall, I can say that the ride to and from went rather smoothly. Again, the prayers were greatly felt and known intimately. It was the in-between that I'm still working on.
My uncle Dale requested to be cremated. He also did not want any flowers. So, needless to say - it was rather different from most services I've attended or been part of. His wife, daughter, two sons, their spouses and children were there. I was greatly saddened by the lack of attendance by the majority of our extended family however - not even half showed up....
My uncle Joe was in rare form.. Hubby didn't have to fill in for him like we thought might happen. Uncle Joe told me as we were preparing to leave that he is done being the marrying and burying pastor for our family. He's officially passed the baton to hubby now. Uncle Joe has cancer too. He handled his brother's service with much dignity, grace, and never forgetting to take the opportunity to talk about Jesus and Heaven. And I was beyond thankful. Given that he has been told there's nothing else that doctors can do for him either - it came across with much concern for those he'll be leaving behind. He never got one name wrong either.. With such a large extended family as ours - that happens often!
My aunt Jane - Dale's wife and I spent some real in-depth time talking. It was my conversation with her and Dale's grown children that still has me processing things. She talked about my role in the family - especially in the last five years. Dale's grown children did too. And about hubby's as well. She specifically said to me, "Camey? I believe God healed you because our family couldn't have handled your dying. We need you to get us through these deaths. Your place in the family is known by all of us. It is greatly appreciated." What does a person do with that? I must confess - it made my heart heavy. No, not because of being physically healed.... I remain thankful for that.
My uncle had served the USA in the armed services years ago. Taps was played as was a flag unfolded, folded again, and given to his wife with the Country's thanks. One couldn't help but notice the memorial with all the names of individuals from that little country town who had or are currently serving. Yes, I stopped and prayed for all those families represented.
There was lots of talk about Dale being back home where he wanted to be - speaking here about the small country town we were in. As we stood at the site where he was to be buried - his children and grandchildren took turns digging the hole for the small box his ashes were in. Laughter erupted when the ground was much harder than anyone was expecting and muscle really had to be put into it. It was natural to laugh during those moments.
When the box had been covered... we all went back to the pavilion. Aunt Jane proposed a toast with champagne - one of his favorite things to drink. Some of us had Ginger Ale instead... More toasts were made - some serious and yet some funny.
When it came time for us to be heading back to the highly secure gated community, I made my rounds. As each one of his children were hugging me - they said the same thing, "I'll be calling you soon to talk!" When I told them people were praying for them and would continue - I got smiles and winks. And the one I would have least expected hugged me harder. Much harder.
So, keep praying!
21 hours ago