We were in West Virginia last weekend to attend Tim's Grandpa's funeral. His Grandpa passed away on August 10th and his funeral was Friday, August 13th.
The last funeral I attended was my Grandmothers - in December. I didn't leave her funeral with a good feeling. Does that make sense? I just didn't feel as though I had closure. My grandmother new she was dying and in her last living weeks and months made known to my mother and aunt exactly what type of funeral she wanted. Obviously they wanted to respect her wishes and they did just as she requested down to who read, who prayed, who sang, etc. It was a nice ceremony but it just felt very dry and plain. I just ached for someone to talk about her character, about her love for her grandkids, about how she baked non-stop and how she took food to ANYONE and EVERYONE who needed it. I wanted people to remember her and feel her warmth and to know how much she loved the Lord and I wanted to cry....really cry and just miss her and be sad in that moment. Instead I shed few tears and it seemed it was over before it even began. When we left her casket at the grave and got back into our cars I just felt like - "wow...that's it? She was the most regal and respectable woman and our day of remembering and honoring her is already over." I don't say this to be depressing, and in the end of it all, one of my sisters went home and typed out what I wish had been said at her service and I had my time to mourn and get some closure after all - I just wish everyone at her funeral had that same opportunity.
So...having said all of that I had great feelings of apprehension about Tim's Grandpa's funeral and oh my word it was NOTHING like my Grandmothers. It was what I want my funeral to be like and what I want every funeral I ever attend in the future to be like. It was such a perfect blend of mourning and missing but only temporarily because he is now celebrating and would want us to be too. There were fond words, wonderful memories, stories of old and recent and we cried. Man, did we cry. It was about his unbelievable faith and how he has pointed countless people to the cross. What a legacy he leaves. Tim and I went through more Kleenex's than I care to admit, but it felt right and good and they were joyful tears. When the day was over I felt like we had strength to go on without him and it just felt....right.
Part of what Tim wrote on Grandpa's Fathers Day card was put into the obituary and Tim read it at his service. He did a really nice job and I was proud of him for doing it. I thought his obituary was so touching (the bolded part is what Tim wrote):
Ross Junior Taylor, 87, of Scott Depot, WV, passed away on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at home after a short illness.
Ross was born January 13, 1923 in Dunbar, WV to the late Rev. John Ross Taylor and Ethel Roberts Taylor. He was also preceded in death by his daughter, Joyce Taylor Wroczynski, brothers: Willard, Shelby, John, and Ray Taylor.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Clarice Briscoe Taylor; son and daughter-in-law, Rodney and Marlene Taylor of Scott Depot; grandchildren: Steven Wroczynski of Jacksonville, FL; Timothy Taylor and his wife, Lindsy of Lexington, KY; Crystal Stephens and her husband, Joe of Sarasota FL; great grandchild, Kennedy Clare; brother, Herbert Taylor of Lakeland, FL .
Ross was a veteran of WWII, serving in North Africa and Italy. He was retired from Monsanto. As a lay minister, he was active throughout his life in the churches he attended—most recently at the Scott Depot Christ Fellowship where his son serves as pastor. Ross was a man of great love and exceptional faith. Everyone who knew him was blessed by his life. He lived serving others.
Ross created a legacy of love and service that will live and thrive through those he has touched; a legacy that will pass through generation after generation and continue to honor God forever. His life will touch those who never knew him; his gifts and kindness will spread and multiply further than the vast branches of the beautiful family tree which he has watered and fed. Although many in the world may not know him or recognize his vast contributions to its greater good, his family is forever grateful and inspired. We will endeavor to continue your great work and bring glory and honor to the God that you have pointed us toward.
Aside from the funeral the Taylors church family just really rallied around them and were there in whatever way they needed - praying, cooking, hugging and loving. They did exactly what a church body/family should do in a time like this and I just felt humbled by the whole experience.
I am so thankful for the time we had with him on Father's Day:
And one more time (mine and Kennedy's last time to be with him) on the way home from the beach in July.
Tim was able to make a trip the weekend prior to him passing away and I am so thankful he was able to do that because they told each other they loved each other and I think it has helped Tim to heal that he saw how sick Grandpa had become. We will miss him dearly.