My sister Kathy and Shannon, my niece, were able to attend our brother and uncle Dick’s funeral in Smith River. She reported to me:
Dick’s service was really nice, with big rolling waves in the ocean in the background. It was a very stressful day for us though. We were running late, there was a big accident on the freeway that slowed us down, and Shannon got stopped for speeding. She got stopped at 12:45 and the service started at 1:00. I started crying and told the patrolman we were trying to get to my brother’s funeral and were late. He said we were only 15 minutes away, and let her go without a ticket.
We arrived just as they were bringing the casket to the grave site. I’m not sure, but there must have been 120 or so people there and at the potluck afterwards.
We didn’t get to talk to family too much, but I was able to talk to Adrienne [Dick’s wife]. She said that Dick knew it was time to die, they talked about it, said their good-byes, and he passed away in his sleep at home.
Two of Dick’s friends sang an Indian song at the service, then Steve, Annette’s husband, sang a song at the potluck. [His son-in-law and daughter] Everyone I talked with mentioned what a good guy Dick was, and how respected he was in the community.
I had hoped to spend more time with the family, but we had to get back on the road shortly after eating since Shannon had to go to work Friday.
The cemetery where my brother was buried is on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a tranquil and beautiful place. Though this is a sad time for my family and me, I feel blessed that Dick was my brother.
Thank you all for your thoughtful comments, and know that I am OK. Sadness doesn’t cancel the joy of the season, which, for Christians, marks the beginning of the holy season that ends with the resurrection of Christ. I’ll spare you the sermon but life must go on. It is Christmas Eve. I am at peace.