This page was set up to show the pictures I took at my mother’s funeral, on June 28, 2008. I have also scanned the two programs that were handed out. You may download them here if you wish:
My mother planned the entire service in advance; in fact, I was there when the family met with the funeral home director, two and a half weeks earlier. Consequently the service was remarkably upbeat, a celebration of her life instead of mourning at her passing. For example, the music she picked was that old-time Gospel, not something meant to be played solemnly on an organ. I even cracked two jokes, when it was my turn to speak (see below). And then there was a reception afterwards. Although my father was understandably choked-up during the affair, he later said that it was the most cheerful funeral he ever attended.
First, I will show the flower arrangements we kept at home; we could only take/send so many of them to the church:
The service was held in the big Methodist church where my parents have been going since 1996. However, the pastor of my Florida church lives on the same street, just two houses down. Thus, we had two pastors give eulogies here. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that my workplace had sent an arrangement. It was placed in the foyer, next to the guestbook. Here it is, with Leive and one of the church ladies.
There were six or seven arrangements in the sanctuary. The pink one here is from my parents’ doctor.
The yellow one came from my church I currently attend in Kentucky.
But Mom’s favorite color was blue, so I suspect she would have liked this one best.
My mother always had a problem being on time to meetings, movies, church services, etc., to the point that my father once joked she would be late to her own funeral. Well, would you believe that joke came true? The funeral home couldn’t get her ashes and urn ready for the service in time, so not only was she late, she missed it altogether! In place of that, we represented her with this table showing pictures from her life, plus her glasses and favorite golden slippers. Pardon the glare.
About 200 people came for the service and reception. Here in the front row, from left to right, are Adam (Lindy’s husband), my daughter Lindy, Leive, myself, my brother Chris, and my sister Tina.
Tina is in the front again. In the second row are my father and Pam & Christy, the two caregivers Leive hired to look after him. In the third row are Sue and Richard Moellering, my mother’s siste and her husband.
Tom and Robbie Frye, two friends that have lived near my parents house for more than forty years.
My pastor, Ken Garrison, delivered the first eulogy.
Because both eulogies had to do with the 23rd Psalm, Tina sang it as well.
Then the pastor of the church, Dick Mailman, delivered the second eulogy.
Lindy sings “Amazing Grace,” with Adam backing her up on guitar.
For the rest of the family, my mother requested that those who feel motivated get up and say a few words on her behalf. Two of us did, myself and Barbara Harkness, another old friend of the family. I thanked Mom for all that she taught me, and finished by describing an idea I had been thinking about lately — that God created butterflies and moths as an example, to show us the cycle of life for His followers. In that sense, the egg represents us before birth. The caterpillar represents our life on earth: limited ability, and a desire to consume as much as possible. Then when the caterpillar has eaten enough, it wraps itself like a mummy and doesn’t move for a long time, which looks like death to me. Finally, the butterfly comes out of the cocoon; it can fly above everyone else, and is far more glamorous than it was in the previous stages. Well, Mom is in the “butterfly stage” now, and I trust she now has a greater view of everything than those of us at the service.
Unfortunately Leive had the camera while I was speaking, and didn’t bother to take any pictures. Next Barbara got up, and spoke mainly about my elder sister, who died when she was only three weeks old. I never got to see her, but my Mother is now able to see her again, after being separated for half a century.
The service ended right after Barbara’s message. Here are three pictures of the spread at the reception.
After the reception, we posed for a few more pictures in front of my mother’s table, before going home. Here, from left to right, are my father, me again, Leive, Tina and Chris.
If you didn’t attend the actual service, you were just there in spirit, by viewing these pictures. Thank you for coming.