Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Life Goes On

My brother and I were going thru the motions of picking corn yesterday. I kept looking at my watch and thinking about what the rest of my family was doing down in Florida right now. They were all gathering for my nephew Steve's funeral. Then finally, I looked at my watch for the last time, 6:00. 7:00 Florida time. It must be over. They are all back at Steve's and beginning to say painful good bye's. We kept picking until past dark. I started to feel some relief for the end of the 'formal' activities down there. Now time for reflection, laughing, crying, pain and on and on.
When we came in from the field I heard "Dan called". We've been keeping their baby so they could attend the funeral. Marilyn relayed to me that there were over 700 people at the funeral. That doesn't surprise me. They are so very active and highly thought of in their church, community, and the business community.
Dan said Steve's high school aged daughter stood up front and spoke for ten minutes about her father. Never a crack in her voice, complete poise, conveying her thoughts and memories concisely. That doesn't surprise me, it's the way she was raised.
I won't worry about the two kids. Feel sorry for them for losing a great father much to soon, yes. But I won't worry about them. They have a very strong parent left and the foundation for a successful life has already been laid. I don't believe it will crumble or cave. The kids come from good stock on both sides. They will be fine. But I'm still sorry for the thought process they still have to go through.
My point,,, read Dan's blog about family and take it to heart. Dan is still in his twenties but has a good grasp on what life is all about.
I'll head to my County Board meeting now, and then on to the state convention. Dan's will be back to get their precious child this morning. I must try to get my brain home from Florida and engaged in my own life. I know that's impossible but I will try to concentrate when I must. In times like these, I like to say I've slipped into neutral. Well I've put it back in low and will start the climb.
Life goes on.


Jamie Dawn said...

Well written post. Your thoughts and feelings are expressed here so beautifully.

JUST A MOM said...

Very nice Cliff,yes life does go one. Memories is what makes the future strong. Hang in there friend.

Triplet Dads said...


thanks so much for your words. I'm sure I'll have more to say later but for now, thanks.

Jerry said...

I know at times like this, it's good to have long solitary days in the fields, to collect your thoughts. Thanks for sharing them.

Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Your gentle, yet strong, thoughtful words are penned with love, hope, and faith. I think there's definitely a reason for routines and rituals. Memories are always with us, like the spirit of those we love. Take care doesn't say enough, but I don't have the words. Hugs from my family to yours.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bro: Well, we are home again and home never felt so good! We have spent the last 3 days in Florida laying to rest one of ours who was much too young. We cried a lot, we hugged a lot, we laughed a lot and we loved a lot...and I know we won't be finished for a long time. I have many fragments of the weekend running around in my head and I'm sure they will land and come together at some point, but I wanted to let you know that we ALL missed you and Marilyn and I know how much you wanted to be there. We knew you were there in spirit. We spent a good amount of time with family and we felt comforted to be with them.

It was the hardest 3 days that I think our family has dealt with in a good long time. I know it was the saddest I've been in a long time.

The funeral was uplifting and renewed our hope that we will indeed see our loved ones again. There were some moments during the service that took our breath away. The young lady that sang 2 songs (a former childrens' choir director at the church and now an award winning Christian music artist) blew us away. It was one of those times that was so beautiful we didn't want it to end. And in the middle of those songs, our Emily comforted all of us with her strength and poise as she related remembrances from Steve's family. She deserved a standing ovation and we should have given it to her! The most heart-breaking moment for me came when I watched our older brother, along with his other children, escort his son's body from the church. It was as he told me, "you shouldn't have to do this!"

I guess you need funeral services for closure so that, when they are over, you can begin to dwell on and take care of the living. One of my favorites: " A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and, when you are unable, sings it for you until you can sing it again." I have always felt this was written for our family because I feel we are a family of friends. We have said goodbye for now to one of our "friends" and now we must sing his family's songs until they can once again sing their own.

With much love, Okie Sis

Rachel said...

Sounds like a wonderful loving family. Hang on to the memories. It's sad when people we love die. Hard to understand, but a part of life. God Bless.

Paul said...

Again, our prayers are with you and your family. Yes, Life does go on. My family had a similar experience some years ago when my brother died without notice. Praise the Lord, our family has a solid foundation. I can assure you that there are many happy days ahead.

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

wonderful post cliff..my thoughts and prayers r with you and yours

Anonymous said...

Cliff, I write this a day before I return to my family in Vegas. I've been in Naples for a week now, burying my brother and taking care of his and Kathy's affairs. I write this with a heavy heart. The outpouring of love from the community and especially the family has been truly amazing. Steve will be dearly missed. We loved him, treasured our relationship with him and can't bear the thought of life without him. His family is strong, however, every day will have to live without their spouse and father. That is a thought that I can't stand. Nothing makes sense to me right now. Why did it happen? How did it happen? These are questions that will probably never be answered. That we must live with. Thank you to you, Ruth, Dan and everyone else who have documented their thoughts and their belief that families can and will pull together in times like these. As Steve's daughter said in her eulogy, let's remember him through our love of family and our actions.

Vegas Greg