We had a neighborhood carpool for Ron’s memorial service, going together with Shawn, Bob, and Logan. If there were themes for funeral gatherings, this would have had several. Neighborhood groups would be one. During the fellowship meal we met Mary and Tom again and were introduced to others who had lived on the street with Amy and Ron in Clemmons, NC. To hear them tell it, their lives looked like a TV situation comedy with lively children flowing in and out of all the homes. They had impromptu meals and cookouts, sharing the joys and struggles of daily living. They’ve scattered now, but the bonds are as strong as ever.
The family theme was uppermost. Half the church was roped off for family members! The service began with Ron’s grandson Paul carrying the wood cremation urn to the front. I wanted a photo of Ron there among us, but it seemed disrespectful. Ron was enough of a renegade that he might have winked his approval. The family members filed in together, fully filling those reserved pews. I recognized almost half of them and saw family resemblance in many of the others. Granddaughter Amy Elizabeth sang from the pulpit without any accompaniment. She was amazing. What poise she had! Everyone was proud of her, with good reason. Amy and Ron’s son Rob gave the eulogy. It was an emotional time, but Rob knew everyone there was fully supporting him.
The third theme was the outpouring of love from the members of the church. The musicians sang and played the music Amy picked out. Pianist and organist sang a duet. They had guitars, a violin, and bass playing enthusiastically. Everyone was invited to the fellowship hall to greet the family and eat a meal together. What a feast! Church groups are noted for good food, and this church was in the South where home cooking is an art.
I would have loved to watch the slide show on the monitor. Someone put together many photos of family events that showed Ron in the middle of family activities. Ron’s urn was there, so we captured him respectfully.
The Jeep gave us an excuse to chat with granddaughter Anna. A tire was visibly soft when we were ready to leave. Anna talked with us while the compressor chugged away. We were late picking Dennis up from work, but he was waiting patiently.
As I was writing this, the voices of the family came floating up the hill from Amy’s house to ours. The public service was over, and the family love flowed on.