Where to start, where to start… Well, your funeral was last Wednesday and I must say it was beautiful. I didn’t count them, but I’d guess there was about 20 police cars leading the funeral procession from the funeral home to the church. They had every intersection between Raymer’s and Hopewell blocked and one whole side of the church was filled with men and women in blue. You loved the attention you got from being married to law enforcement and, boy, they made sure you got it in the end.
I walked into the church with Chris and Jen. Heather had gone to look for the minister about the eulogy. I sat down and looked at the rows marked for family and I knew I was supposed to be there. I wasn’t sure whether or not to get up but finally after they brought the coffin in, I knew I was in the wrong place. I walked out and found my rightful place, with your family. I sat beside Kristin and your little grandma. She (grandma) was so cute, singing along to the songs and saying “yes, yes” to everything the ministers said. When the vocalists sang “In The Garden,” inside my head I replaced He with She.
And She walks with me,
and She talks with me,
and She tells me I am her own;
and the joy we share as we tarry there,
none other has ever known.
My guess is some might call that blasphemy, but you are a daughter of God and I know that you are now watching over me just like Jesus. And speaking of Jesus, everything Jervis said at the service was PERFECT. (Ok, not everything, but I’ll get to that in a minute.) You and I had talked about Jesus on the 13th. I had told you my thoughts and that most of all for me Jesus is a teacher. In my life I am trying to learn from him and follow what he taught…two of those huge lessons being forgiveness and everlasting life. The one thing Jervis said (and used scripture to back it up) was “she will live again.” The other thing he said is that God does not punish us and God does not cause tragedies like this to happen. You leaving us just is… There is no one to blame and all we can do now is go to God for comfort. He didn’t make this happen, but he can get us through it.
Now the one thing that made me cringe a bit, OK A LOT, was when Jervis talked about Puni. In my mind I was screaming “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” and tackling him before he could say it. But I really didn’t think you’d want me actually doing that at your funeral, so I let him speak. For those of us closest to you, Puni (along with your other little quirks) were such big pieces of you. And those of us who knew felt so special to be in the midst of that circle. You only told the people you loved the most and Tim loved you so much that he had to tell Jervis the story of Puni. I had no idea it would end up being said aloud to the hundreds of people that were there. Kristin and I expressed to one another that we could feel your embarrassment, but it also just occurred to me now that we were probably both a little jealous. I mean that was a part of you that belonged to a select few and we were among that few. Maybe we wanted to keep Puni all to ourselves, so that we would know something and have something so many others didn’t.
You keep sending all these signs, it’s crazy how many we are getting. I know you always hated country music and nearly everyone else in your life liked it. This past week everyone has been passing along songs to each other and they are all COUNTRY songs. We keep apologizing to you for using country songs (which you hated) to remember you by. But I think you are sending us these songs on purpose because you knew that WE would like them and hear them and think of you. So in honor of that I just found a version of “In The Garden” by Brad Paisley that I wanted to share.