I had the hardest time getting myself all put together for this past weekend. I had a viewing/mass to attend for my friend, I had golfing with my Dad for a belated Father’s Day, I had a celebration of Father’s Day, I had photos I took of a wedding almost a year ago that I wanted to get out even though I really did not like they way they turned out... For one reason or another I just could not get moving. So that scratched going down on Thursday.
Friday morning and I am still going through the pictures and finally calling it complete. I then burnt 6 copies while getting myself ready. My shoelaces needed changing badly and, amazingly, I had a new pair to work with. Of course who had the time. I packed the clothes, the camera, the golf clubs, phone calls to my parents trying to coordinate as they wanted to attend the mass also...
Somehow I managed to get out the door mucho late but I did make it. I got my bearings and made a guesstimate of how long I thought it would take and called my parents. We were meeting near by at a place they knew how to get to and then going the rest of the way together.
Adjusting my speed here and there I actually made it to the meeting point a few minutes early so I could scope things out. When my parents arrived we got them parked and headed the rest of the way in.
The retirement home community was lovely and oh so quiet. It is funny, the guard at the gate asked if anyone needed to be let off closer. Normally that is not a question someone would ask but I suppose in a retirement community that makes sense. Anyway I let my parents off and parked the car.
The chapel was beautiful and much bigger than I was expecting. The first thing I saw was my friend and his family scattered about. The casket with Ruth in it was open for viewing, her husband was right next to her the whole time.
My friends was very touched my parents came. You see even though I have know Paul and his wife for over 30 years now, my parents had only met Ruth once and Joshua their Son and possibly Paul once. My Mom felt she really wanted to come seeing as how this was my best friends parent and also she was real impressed the one time she met Ruth.
The mass was a Requiem mass. Besides the organist that was part of the chapel we had lots of music. We had Ruth’s Sister who played violin. I later learned she was 93 years old and still teaching music students. She was amazing on the violin. There was her one daughter who played a fantastic Steinway, the same that Ruth had always played. Her husband, the choir director, sang several songs. Her three daughters played the violin, cello, and another stringed instrument that I just do not know the name of. My friends middle son, also a choir director, played the guitar and sang as did his daughter (also studying music). At one point my friend sang one hymn. It was just amazing who much music is part of that family.
The grieving was intense, especially just before the casket was closed. I know I probably should not have looked but I could not help it. I so wanted to be there with my friends to try and comfort them in what ever way possible but some things you just can not do.
The priest was had a thick accent and I worried I might have a hard time hearing what he had to say. My worries were for nothing as I heard his message that he kept putting forth. In the end I thought he did a wonderful job (I know that sounds bad but words escape me at the moment).
Afterwards there was a little luncheon and that was real good. Besides the food I think the part I liked the most is hearing all the people in the background sharing lovely stories with each other and with my friend about Ruth. I think that made the luncheon a huge success. Who could ask for anything more.
My friends Dad actually picked his head up a few times from being all slumped over and at one point I could see his lovely blue eyes. I really like my friends Dad but you know, I had no idea he had blue eyes. Anyway I was happy to see my friends Dad actually respond to some people. I can not even imagine how tough that must be to lose a spouse like that.
We talked with my friends for a while and eventually called it a day after I handed off the pictures I had been working on. I know, not the best timing but I also know I probably would not see them anymore over the weekend.
Over all I hate going to a viewing or a funeral. This was out together so wonderfully. I have to feel that Ruth was smiling down on everyone that day.
I will try and catch things up tomorrow on the rest of the weekend. Sorry this went on so long.