The day began with the St. Padre Pio prayer service out in Macedonia, my cousin Maryann came out to join me for it as I felt it would certainly help her with her grieving process over the loss of her son last summer and other problems that were wearing her down. When we got back to my house a few hours later, I was not sure if she was as convinced as I was that it would be helpful to her and as far as going again, we shall see. She went home and I went back inside to dress for the Memorial Service that was next on the agenda.
The cold was very intense and the seven-eighths coat did not feel as warm as it did the last few times I wore it. The scarf over my shoulders was simply decorative and held no warmth, nor did the fuzzy little skullcap which slid around on my head. I parked my little car near the outbuilding and walked into the funeral parlor. After wandering around and speaking to folks I had met previously, or those I was related to, I sat in the room filled with chairs for the mourners. Still chilled, I sat with the coat on for about a half hour. The black dress I wore came about mid-shin and the boots ankle length and I thought about my transition from dresses and skirts to wearing slacks, almost exclusively. Fashion seems to be returning to women wearing dresses again and I always enjoy seeing young women who look so feminine in them.
A couple of young men brought more chairs into the room and then encouraged people to come in and be seated. There was a Deacon from St. Thomas Moore parish who gave a very nice prayer service and that was followed by a thoughtful, kind, and respectful eulogy given by my youngest aunt for her late beau of more than two decades. I had not known that he had been in the Air Force until that was mentioned. Two young representatives of the United States Air Force in full uniform, then arrived and performed a small ceremony unfolding and re-folding the American flag and then presenting the flag to Dave’s son.
The employees of the funeral parlor then thanked us all for being there and invited us to walk over to the other building for a hot meal that was prepared for us. Stepping back into the frigid early evening air, I walked carefully over the parking lot and sidewalk and through the doors to the much more comfortable dining room. Toward the back of the room I found a table with no one’s belongings and as I removed my coat, my cousin Tom and his family were filing in and his elder daughter told the others that I had a table and soon we were all seated. After the meal and as people filtered back out of doors, an elderly gentleman offered me his arm and walked me to my car. I was grateful, though I probably would have been okay without it. It doesn’t hurt to be gracious. It turns out that his wife was Dave’s aunt.
I missed the earlier of the two vigil Masses at St. Charles, my former parish, but was thankful there was a second evening service and it was for the Epiphany, closing the Christmas season. The flowers and decorations in the Church were so beautiful that I had to take some pictures of them.
By the time I got home I was thoroughly tired and laid down to take a nap. My head was filled with faces and voices as my mind did a replay of the figures I had encountered through the day.