Monday, November 14, 2016

Send off

Sat was the memorial service for Spouse's brother Frank, who passed away a few weeks ago after a long battle with cancer.

Frank's longtime friend Liz offered to arrange for the service, burial of Frank's ashes, and luncheon at a small historic church the two of them occasionally attended out in 'the country' in southern MD.  She ran the details by the family for approval.

The GPS said it should take us 2 hours and 53 minutes to get there, so I rounded it up to 3 hours and then added an additional 1/2 hour so we wouldn't be rushed, and could stop for a bathroom break if necessary.  We left on time and it was a beautiful, sunny autumn day; perfect for a road trip.

But just a few miles before we were to exit the highway, we came upon a sea of brake lights.  In the distance we saw the flashing lights of a tow truck.  Accidents on the highways are commonplace for the metro DC area.  But it soon became apparent that the traffic back-up extended beyond the accident.  As we inched along we began to see orange traffic cones and a variable message sign ahead.

Great... road work.  The 3-lane highway was being squeezed into 1 lane.  I looked at the estimated arrival time on the GPS as it kept getting later and later.  "Good think I added that extra 1/2 hour" I thought to myself.  Unfortunately, the traffic inched along for nearly 3 miles before we could get off the highway and we'd used up nearly all of our extra time.  The service was to start at 1:00 and the GPS estimated our arrival at 12:56.

I was really afraid we were going to be late, but we finally got there and got seated before the service began.  It lasted about 20 minutes, with readings, songs, and remembrances.  Afterward we walked outside to the cemetery for a prayer before the urn was to be interred, then we walked around back to the parish hall for the luncheon.

Frank's 3 brothers and 1 sister were there, along with their spouses and children, and Frank's mother.  Several friends from the neighborhood in which Frank grew up were also there, some of whom had known him for 40 years.  Our dear friends Kerry & Hugh came too, which was very sweet of them, and my aunt Mary who spends all the holidays with us also came.  We all agreed that Frank would have been pleased with this 'send off'.

The only photo I took was of this photo collage which was set up in the parish hall during the luncheon.
I wish I'd thought to take other photos since the family was all there together. 

Afterward the family all collected at Spouse's sister Mary's house and visited for a few hours.  Spouse & I got home at 12:30am.

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