Today, my mom and I checked off the very last item on our “To Get Done” list while I was home: The setting of my dad’s USMC (United States Marine Corp) marker at his plot in our local Marshall cemetery.
Funeral Director Ed Pearce finally got ahold of us a few days ago and said the cemetery workers would have it in place Tuesday so after that, we could have a little memorial before I left. A small hole had been dug behind the stone for my dad’s ashes, which we family agreed would not be placed in an urn but just placed in the dirt ground. Pastor Richard Lewis joined us as well to say a few words.
We had already said our goodbyes in February, for the funeral itself, so this was just the final stage in my dad’s passing that needed attending to. In other words, no huge fuss and we finished within 10 minutes.
Ed was quick to point out that Frank Pearce, his father (the former mayor of Marshall), was just a couple rows in front of my dad. His tombstone was noticeably bigger, however, and was joined by numerous other Pearces. (Big family!)
It was well-known in the community that Frank and my dad were very good friends. In fact, it was Mayor Pearce who went about selling cemetery plots around town to make more money for the city and the cemetery. This was how my dad came about, many years ago, to buy two plots, one for him and my mom. Frank Pearce had basically talked him into it.
The two men were notorious for their sense of humor and antics about town. This morning at the cemetery, Ed made the comment, “Yeah, my dad is right over there. These two are going to have a lot of catching up to do!”
We figure they’ll be out talking all night, a brotherly reunion of lively discussions where each shares long forgotten anecdotes of their time together. I imagine they’ll be joined by other Marshall men folk who want to enter into the banter as well, not to mention some of the women who knew the infamous, good-humored Bill Wieck as well.
Kind of nice to think of my dad in that light, his younger self, back with his old buddies once again, sharing stories and spouting clever, well-placed remarks.
Isn’t that the way we all want to remember our loved ones who have passed before us! Makes me smile just thinking about it.
Until the next entry, this time from along the Yangtze, here’s wishing you Ping An (Peace) for your day.