Saturday, December 8th, Day Ninety-Five, Dad’s Funeral
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
I am back in Colorado after my trip to Utah for my father’s funeral. My father died November 28, 2018. I went through every major emotion during and around my trip. Nine of my parents’ twelve children came to the funeral. I also saw numerous friends and relatives.
I have thought about my father quite a bit over the past week. If he had done anything differently in his life, he would have been less perfect. He was a great example of everything good. The last couple of years I have been mourning the loss of his good health and his ability to remember.
I could go on about his traits and qualities, but I think I will focus on the future for a bit. We are soon going to move. I may have another gap in my blog as we get moved. Comcast is scheduled to come to our new condo next Wednesday afternoon to hook up our Internet.
I have gained a bit of weight as well. I am at 124.9 pounds now, so I am basically where I started on Day One, and it is Day Ninety-Five. All I can do is start over from where I am.
My father lost a great deal of weight before his death, as he had trouble swallowing, and weighed less than 100 pounds when he died. The workers at the funeral home said that two of them could carry his coffin.
I have a stressful week of moving coming up. Stress and fatigue are probably the two greatest enemies to losing weight. If I want to lose weight successfully, I need to reduce my stress level. At least the funeral is over. I think one of the greatest stresses in my life recently has been over my father. Among other things, I was also worried about my mother’s finances because memory care is not cheap. Now she has some relief.
This week somebody put $20 in my hand and asked me to do something with it. I cannot remember who it was or what they asked me to do. The only reminder I have is the $20. What should I do? How could my memory black out so badly? I remember he/she saying, “Let me know if it costs more than $20.” But who was it? What was I asked to do? I did not write it down. It might have been one of my siblings. It might have been my youngest brother, but I have not been able to contact him yet.
It was bittersweet to see everyone. I had eight siblings at the funeral. Mom had eight. Dad had four. My parents had eight grandchildren who came. Mom even had two aunts at the funeral. There were quite a few cousins (some of my 90 first cousins, some of my parents’ 200 or so first cousins), spouses, friends, members of their church congregation, and even my father’s students. The entire chapel was filled.
The activity director from my father’s care center came to the funeral. She was crying so hard she could not talk to me much. There were two funerals: one where my parents live and one in the tiny town, where they grew up. The two funerals were about three hours distance apart. I traveled with my youngest brother (who drove), my oldest sister, and a niece.
My natural sister spoke at the funeral about my father’s philosophy of life, gathering seven major points from his own papers, mostly about serving others. Service is something my father dedicated his life to and taught others to do as well. I visited with my sister while she was preparing her speech, and she included some of my comments, which she credited to me publicly.
My father had a military ceremony for his brief service in the armed forces. I watched as the soldiers folded the American flag and presented it to my mother who was sitting next to me. All of the children and grandchildren put red and white roses on the coffin. Later my oldest brother gathered shells from the gun salute and put one on a keychain for me as a souvenir of the funeral.
Many people gave potted plants and flowers to our family as gifts. My brother, who also lives in Colorado, was driving home before my flight with his two daughters. He offered to take a poinsettia from the funeral to my home in Colorado. He had to take an alternate route home because a bad wreck blocked the freeway, but late that night he arrived at my residence and dropped the plant off. I was very grateful for his service as I could not bring the poinsettia with me on the airplane.
Two of my cousins sang Heaven’s Hallelujah beautifully. My mother had earlier asked me to accompany the song on the piano for Dad’s funeral, but after playing it a few times, I realized that my ability was not up to it, and I knew I would probably be too emotional at the funeral to pull it off. My hyperacusis prevented me from practicing as much as necessary. Since I have not had my piano for the past few months, it is just as well that I told my mother I could not do it. She arranged for someone else to play the accompaniment to the song, and it turned out great.
Bar and Cafe
Another night has gone by. I was very tired most of the day yesterday. We went to the bar and cafe last night and visited with a resident who is approaching his ninetieth birthday. When we told him earlier that we had gotten kicked out of the complex because I was too young, he said something like, “If I married a 25-year-old, I would want to be with her.” He showed us his family pictures on his phone. We sat and visited for a long time near the bar then went to the cafe together for dinner. He packed up most of his food to take back to his residence so he could eat it later.
Yesterday my husband and I drove over to the condo. We turned on the heat. Everything looked very clean except the oven.