Sunday, November 9, 2008

Goin' Home

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a terrible memory. Hopefully this blog will serve to fill in the blanks. So I feel obligated to myself to write about my grandfather’s funeral services that have taken place the last 3 days. No one was particularly surprised when he passed. He was 97 and had been battling dementia among other things the last year or so. I am not qualified to elucidate on his legacy, but I have 25 wonderfully playful and inspiring years of memories with him. My reflections on the last three days:

Thursday: The calling hours were held at Hill Funeral Home in Westerville, OH. It was an open casket, so the first hurtle was seeing him. The second, seeing my family’s reactions. The third, seeing my grandmother’s. The kids huddled in the corner where a tv was playing a video of 50 photos, a few of which I had never seen. And Little Debbie told us funny stories from over the last few months. Most of mom’s family was able to make it and my dad’s three sisters came down. During the break, we went to the Davis-Tressler house for a light dinner and Kenny (three year old cousin) and JJ (their dog) served as our entertainment. At the end of the night we said our goodbyes before the casket was closed.

Friday: The funeral service was held at Church of the Messiah on State Street in Westerville. I was able to hold it together until the end. My grandmother asked the soloist to end the service by singing “Goin' Home”. The words couldn’t have been more perfect and it’s safe to say had the whole room in tears. The lyrics are posted at the bottom. I told her later that I thought it was the perfect choice and she told me “well that’s just how I feel about the whole thing”. My uncle Terry brought my dad’s mother down and Father Chris also attended. After the service there was a luncheon upstairs and we took turns talking about grandpa and our memories. It was only 7 years ago that we had his 90th birthday party in the same room and he brought down the house telling the most hilarious stories. That evening we met at the Old Bag of Nails for dinner and drinks and family photos.

Saturday: We drove down to Parkersburg, WV for the burial. On the way into town we got lost, but we passed the house on Juliana Street where Grandpa grew up and that we had all heard so many stories about. We also crossed the Little Kanawha River, which was the setting for the story we had all hear so many times: when WT Wiant moved his family down the river to Parkersburg. (And we have the furniture to prove it was not an easy task). It was cold and windy. He was buried near his parents and sister on top of the hill at the Mt. Olivet cemetery. Grandma was presented with the flag, there was a gun salute, the bugle played and then we said our final goodbyes. After the burial, we had lunch at the Blennerhasset Hotel in downtown Parkersburg.

Goin' Home

Goin' home, goin' home I'm a goin' home
Quiet-like, some still day
I'm jus' goin' home
It's not far, jus' close by
Through an open door
Work all done, care laid by
Goin' to fear no more

Mother's there expectin' me
Father's waiting, too
Lots of folk gathered there
All the friends I knew
All the friends I knew
Home, home, I'm goin' home

Nothin's lost, all's gain
No more fret nor pain
No more stumbling on the way
No more longing for the day
Goin' to roam no more

Mornin' star lights the way
Res'less dream all done
Shadows gone, break of day
Real life jus' begun
There's no break, there's no end
Jes' alivin' on
Wide awake with a smile goin' on and on

Goin' home, going home
I'm a goin' home
It's not far, jus' close by
Through an open door
I'm a goin' home
I'm jus' going home
Goin' home, goin' home

1 comment:

J.Nine said...

I am very sorry to hear about your Grandfather. Loved seeing my brother Ken and nephew Kenny though!!