Friday, June 29, 2007

The Funeral

Dad and I left Wednesday about noon to head to the funeral of Annie's dad. The wake was from 2-9pm, and we got there about 4. We paid our respects and chatted with the various family members. Hundreds of people came through, including the bishop and the cardinal. Dad M was a well loved man.

Shortly after 6 I was hungry and Nora was getting bored. We headed to Baker's Square for dinner and had a very nice time. I told her we'd go swimming afterwards - big mistake on my part. I didn't book a hotel in advance, figuring how hard would it be to find a hotel on a random Wednesday in Alsip, IL? Yeah.....there were 350 flights cancelled out of O'Hare - every hotel between Joliet and downtown was booked solid. We finally managed to find one, but their pool was closed for cleaning. We settled for 2nd best and sat with our legs in the hot tub playing "I Spy." Later we went up to the room to wait for her mom to pick her up. I had given her a book with blank pages, so she started writing me a story. She has turned into a delightful young girl.

Thursday we were back at the funeral home for a 10am prayer service. It was beautiful. Part was in Gaelic, part in English and all Dad M. There weren't many dry eyes when it was over. We processed to the church for the funeral mass. It was about 1.5 hours long, because there was a ceremony to bring the casket in, including bagpipes, plus the full Catholic mass. At the end of the mass, Mary (the oldest) gave an exceptional eulogy. She did a wonderful job of sharing her father - the man. The fiery Irishman and the loving man of God. The father and the husband. The grandfather and brother. All that Dad M was to all of us.

We processed to the cemetery where a military ceremony was performed. It was also beautiful. When they handed Mom M the flag, she was able to give a small speech to the Army men about supporting our troops and praying that they are all home safe soon. She is one remarkable woman. I was having trouble coming up with a coherent thought, and she comes out with an eloquent speech.

After leaving the cemetery we went to a banquet hall for lunch. This was a time to sit and talk, to remember the good and fun that was Dad M. It was very nice. Dad and I headed home around 3:30pm and I pulled into my house around 10. It was a long trip, but I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

The world lost a good man on June 23, 2007. I love you Dad M.

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