Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The funeral

Saturday arrived - the day to say "good-bye" for now to my mother.

My mother and father had written down ideas for their funeral.  We tried to follow their wishes as much as were able.

Mom wanted Doug and Jude to do music and they did several songs for the prelude.

My mother's favorite song was What a Friend we Have in Jesus.  I found this one on You-tube and it was a perfect intro to the funeral.  My Daddy sang along with it as it played.

This was my idea but I think Mom would have loved it.  Jill read her life story while we had a power point picture presentation that went along with the reading.  Someone asked if I would share that, so I will see about doing that on the blog.

Josh and Staci sang "Eternity"
Aunt Belva shared about Mom's contribution in missions in Japan (not my real aunt, but on the mission field, children call their parents' co-workers by "aunt" and "uncle" and it is a title that is hard to give up).  Here are Aunt Belva and Uncle Verney with the family.  The dorm in the background is where I lived during the week we were at school.  Our school was a 3 hour train ride away.  They were my dormparents during my 1st grade.

The congregation sang a song I hadn't heard before,
 but one my mother wanted sung.  
"In the bulb there is a flower"

They also sang "The Lord Bless you and Keep you."  The Father's blessing.  My Dad continues to give us this blessing as he remembers.  He gave the children the blessing when they would babysit and put them to bed.  It is sweet to me!

Mindy read 1 Cor. 15:20-28, the scripture Mom chose

Our son-in-law gave a wonderful message!
Here he is with Mom just a couple of weeks earlier.
Can you believe it?  She was weak, 
but who would have guessed she would be gone so soon!?
We ended the funeral service with "God be with you till we meet again".
I had found another youtube piece in Japanese.
It was a video of a ship going out to sea.
My parents experienced several farewells on ships.

We did an unusual thing for the reception following the funeral.  We invited Joel and Kendal to bring their ice-cream machine.  They have a business called Sweet Ride Soft Serve.  They said it was the first time they had been asked to serve at a funeral.  But we just HAD TO!  Because Ice-cream was always Mom's FAVORITE food!!  Dad's too!  Mom's fridge might be empty, but she always had ice-cream in the freezer!

Often funerals are times you see relation that you haven't seen for some time. 
 Like a big family reunion, with a touch of sadness too.

One day at Braum's, I saw this guy in the picture below.  At first glance, I thought it was my brother!  Then I later found out he went to Mom's church!  Mom knew just who I was talking about.  I do believe we are related somehow.  I'm sure of it.
My brother on the left, Joe on the right.

As I was talking with Dave and his wife, Linda, this guy was standing by, and I could tell he wanted to talk to me.  As I turned to face him, my eyes grew so big!!  It was "Jimmy" - or Jim, as he is known now!  We grew up in Japan together.  Our parents were on the same mission field.  He lived in Tokyo though so we weren't classmates until highschool.  And now his mother is in the same facility as my parents.

I found this baby picture of us!
My mother is holding me - middle row, 1st baby from the left.
Aunt Vi is holding Jimmy, middle row, 2nd baby from the right.

After the reception, our family drove the one hour to Pretty Prairie.
Our home church cemetery.  Al's parents are buried there also.
In fact, I can see their tombstone over by the tree.

"Look at all the Grabers!"

I just loved this coffin that Mom picked out.  
We had actually gone earlier this past summer to do that.  Of course, we were thinking about my Dad, not Mom at the time.  But she picked this one out because it was simple and it would have been something like what her father would have built.  He enjoyed woodworking.

After a few words and the song "Amazing Grace" (which was playing at the time Mom died), they lowered the casket.  Dad and then each of us women and the children threw flowers on top.

All the guys, starting with my brother, threw a shovel of dirt on top.

A solemn prayer and farewell

Mom and I designed this stone earlier this summer.
I love how it turned out!

The ladies of the church lovingly prepared a light dinner for us.  They had had a large funeral earlier in the day  so it was sweet of them to stay and do this for us.

"I want dessert, Mommy!"

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