It is early Saturday morning and already so much has been done and yet, there is so much left to do. Friday was such a disjointed day...It started out good...last day of the nine weeks, day before Fall Break begins,...life was not bad...until 7:05. My dear friend Anelia Bruce came to my room yesterday morning and wanted to talk about my dad and Thursday's move to the Healthcare Center. I had so much to do and really sat there wishing she would leave...when Frank walked in...and I knew from the look on his face...my dad's batttle with cancer was over. I felt as if I had been gut punched. I vaguely remember getting from my desk chair to Frank's car(which he parked in the bus line in front of our school...a no no!)...I remember hugging my boss, getting in the car and heading to Dadeville. The normally 15-20 minute ride seemed like hours. My mom did not know yet...they were waiting for me to get there to tell her. She was asleep when we arrived and looking so precious. I had a few moments with my dad and then we woke her up. The rest of the day is a blurr. We held the body at the Healthcare facility until my daughter, Kat got there...my cousin Judy, Kat, our D.S. (District Superintendent), his lovely wife, Jeannie, Frank's mentor, Dee Dowdy, and Blue came...along with Carol and Bill Meadows (Carol is a Hospice volunteer assigned to my dad....and her brother and his wife)all arrived and Dr. Stryker gathered us together and asked if we could lift up Blessed Assurance. I started it off...it felt so natural to be singing. Then he followed up with the sweetest prayer...and then the Healthcare Center called Radneys to come and get my father. The rest of us headed back to the house to begin to deal with the process of my dad's death and grieving. Judy and I, with the help of Kat and Mary picked out the stuff for my dad, got some pictures together, cleaned house and received guests. We went to the funeral home 12:30 to make arrangements and iron out all the details of the rest of the weekend. While we were at the funeral home we viewed the casket my dad chose...picked out books...and those of you who have ever been here....know what this is like. I can't even tell you much about the hour we were there...a sweet young man droned...and I tried to keep up. BUT...when the sweet little girl came in to talk with us about the little programs people pick up at the visitation and other stuff...I nearly laughed out loud. Sitting on a table were something she called memory candles...she talked about them...I half listened...until she told us that they were made from the flowers of the funeral....all of a sudden that seemed like the grossest thing I have ever heard and I looked at all the people at the table, Kat, Mom, Mark, Judy, Frank...and realized that they thought so too...I coughed to keep from laughing out loud...it was just one of those moments...that laughing would NOT have been the right thing to do. Who ever thought of a memory candle...come on! Anyways throughout the day people were called, people called, food showed up, the day came and went. I have to laugh because about 8:30 my mom asked me who all these people were in the house....I told her they were family and friends who loved Daddy and love her....she then followed up with, "Will they ever go away?" I had to laugh...we finally got her to go to bed about 9:45...and my sweet Mary and my sweet Judy told me they were staying the night because my mom might wander off...They talked me into laying down about 12:30. The visitation will be tonight at Radney's....from 5-8. We will all gather at the Methodist Church in Kellyton for lunch on Sunday around 12:45...Daddy will lie in state at the Kellyton Baptist Church from 2 - 3...the funeral will be at 3...and burial will follow at Hillview. My dad will be buried next to my brother. I want you all to know that I am ok. I am pleasantly numb right now. My dad died exactly as I would have wanted him to...he fell asleep and never woke up. He was so at peace when I saw him for the first time...he actually had a little smirk on his face...like "Ha Ha...beat cha!" And beat me he did...yesterday morning...when I got there...my dad was already sipping coffee with Judy's dad Wilson, his two other brothers...Cecil and Drew...and playing catch with my little brother. Mark, Drew's son...said yesterday that my dad, "Never let a lie get in the way of a good story."...so you see...I get it honest...Drew, Cecil, Wilson, Doug....they all had a story for you...and after yesterday I can't wait to share them with you. Bless You Real Good.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.