A week since you went home

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Dad,

It’s been a week since you left. What a busy week it was! It was busy with funeral plans and attending the viewing and funeral and burial. Three separate days of events. Sunday we could rest, in theory, but even Sunday was busy. Let me back up.

After the viewing we arrived home to find your little toy Poodle, Gibbs, quite disoriented. Something wasn’t quite right. Momma decided she and her sister Susan would go to the vet and get Gibbs checked out. They didn’t get back home until 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Saturday was your funeral.

Your service was beautiful, the video momma made for you was just lovely. Everybody cried. You had about 270 folks at your funeral, give or take another 100. Everybody cried at one point or another. Lakia and Allison sang the song you wanted them to sing, and they did a great job. Gary, Darryl (all the way from Colorado) Bruce, Carole, Denise and Felton all shared what you meant to them, or read scriptures.

Once we were back home momma laid down and slept for a few hours. After being at the vet, and then emotionally drained from the funeral, she was exhausted. We thought Sunday would be a day of rest but that turned out a bit crazy too. You see some drunk driver came barreling down our street and slammed right upside Aunt Susan’s car, then proceeded to swerve up into the driveway. It seems they broke their axle and their front wheel came off into the yard. Dennis, your neighbor, saw it all happen (he was up early! ) and followed the drunk all the way out to Princess Anne, where the police caught up with him and arrested him. Susan had to get a rental and the tow truck came for their car. But the best part was that YOU had the foresight to install security cameras so we got to watch the crash over and over, from three different angles. What a welcome distraction to an otherwise very sad day!

Monday it was time to see you off to your  final resting place. We rode in the limos you ordered all the way out to your cemetery. The service was quick but very well done. You were buried with full military honors. Complete with a bugler and a gun salute. Your friend Chaplain Moore did your service, he did a great job and to your satisfaction did share the good news of Jesus with the small crowd in attendance.

 

After we arrived from your burial, your best friends stayed here and had lunch with Momma and us kids. They laughed and shared stories of you, shared of your desire to have relationships with your co-workers and not just be their supervisor. Mom said one fella had told her “Wayne was the only boss I had who wanted to go see a movie with me, just to be with me.” They all marveled at your desire to be friends to all these different people from all walks of life.

Over the weekend I heard a few people say after the funeral “wow, I really didn’t know him!” The National Guard guys didn’t know you were so involved in ministry, and the ministry folks didn’t know you were so involved in National Guard. Mom says that’s because you gave 100% to every single thing you did. I also think it’s because when you were with someone, it was all about THEM, not about you or your accomplishments or what you’ve been busy doing, but really about the one you were with at that exact moment.  Wow, what a person, to give their honest and full attention to hundreds of different people throughout your life, making each one feel loved and special.

I want to be like you when I grow up. Lots of people want to be like you when they grow up.

I love you daddy and miss you. I told you I was going to miss you but that I’d be okay. So far that’s been true. Even after you’ve gone you’re still showing me things and teaching me truths, slowly and in love. What a gift you are and how incredibly lucky I am to have had you for my earthly father.

Always your daughter,

Paige

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