About one month from the day my father passed away, we were finally able to hold his graveside service at a cemetery in Maryland. My father, per his request, was cremated after his passing in late November. I was doing okay emotionally until we pulled into the cemetery area and I saw the government car with two Air Force service members inside waiting to provide military honors.
With some of my Maryland and Virginia family there for the graveside service, the ceremony opened with the American flag being folded and presented to me. When the bugle played “Taps,” the flood gates for my eyes came open.
There is nothing like being the family member who receives the flag during the military honors portion of a service. It is very moving. Then to have a member from the Air Force tell me she was there, offering me the condolences on behalf of the President of the United States. Simply, that is powerful and I was so moved and touched by the ceremony. It makes me appreciative of those locally in Wright County who work diligently to make sure military honors are performed for countless services county-wide. I then had to take a breath, use some tissues and deliver my father’s eulogy.
Simply put, I miss my dad.
I was able to share some fun memories of having my father live with us over the past three and a half years. I also reflected on my time with him as a kid.
When his urn was lowered into the ground and into a vault, it offered a finality to the situation.
The mission my father gave me to make sure he was buried next to his second wife was accomplished. I’m just grateful the finances were available to make this trip and to make sure he was buried where he wanted to be buried. So on that same day, Tuesday, Dec. 28, just two days after arriving in Maryland, we got back in the car and started heading home. After visiting a college friend and staying the night at a hotel, we had a late start on the road, but eventually pulled in at 2 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 30. Just in time for me to cover five tournament basketball games. What a quick trip and turnaround time to begin working on the Jan. 5 issue. I want to thank many readers for your prayers, cards and kind words during this tough time. They are much appreciated. I miss my dad.