I went to a funeral yesterday in Colby. It meant that I had to leave by 7:15 in order to get there on time. I did, but I was almost late. I'm one of those people who likes to be a little early, and NEVER late. My arrival was later than I wanted it to be yesterday. In fact, I was the last person seated before the family entered the church.
As I was rushing to get into the church, I saw the family gathered outside, waiting for their entrance. The Pallbearers were just starting to remove the casket of their grandfather from the hearse. Standing off to the side, near the larger group of family, stood the new widow. She looked so somber and deep in thought as she watched her grandson's start their work. I can only imagine where her mind was at that moment. In my mind, her standing there alone represented how she felt. Her husband of 55 years was gone leaving her surrounded by a large family and yet still very much alone. It was a poignant moment and I so wanted to stop and hug her before rushing into the church. But, I didn't, because I also saw that she needed that brief moment to herself.
The gentleman who died was the father of one of my friends, Sharon. Denny, her father, was quite a character. I met him shortly after meeting Sharon, as all the men in the family were avid bowlers. In fact, that's where Sharon introduced me to her parents, the Bowling Alley. Fritz, Sharon's mom, always tagged along and watched the men bowl while visiting with various other family and friends. They were some of the most welcoming people I had met. I've admired them for raising 9 good children and for adopting many of the people their kids drug home. I was fortunate to be one of those drug in.
Denny's funeral was the first time I'd seen the Knights of Columbus present, and it was the first time I've witnessed military honors. This one was special, because the honor guard was made entirely of family members. They were a credit to their father, grandfather and uncle.
But what threw me was when Sharon introduced me to one of her nephews, (or aunt, or cousin) as her "best friend." Now, I admit that we're close and are very much like sisters, but I'm not used to hearing someone refer to me as a "Best friend." I felt honored and humbled, because I don't think of myself very good friend. Maybe it was just the label that struck me, but it did throw me.
My brother once told me that I was blessed with the best of friends. And I am. WE are--Kev and I. I know that I'm blessed by my friends, to to consider that maybe they feel blessed to have me as a friend is...almost inconceivable! I was just doing what needed to be done. I knew she'd need me. Yes, she was surrounded by family and friends, but I knew that I needed to be there for her, so I was. It was nothing special, and isn't it what any friend would do?
I went to this funeral to honor a special man and his special daughter and yet upon leaving I felt like I had been honored. Honored to be a part of the celebration of this man's life and honored to be called a "best friend."