Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Funeral

Sorry I haven't written in quite some time. I just haven't either, had the time, or the desire. I really want to write about the funeral, but yet, I didn't at the same time. I think it will be good for me to write about it though. It was, overall, a really really great funeral (if they can be).

Over 500 people showed up for my Uncle's funeral. That was awesome. We got there incredibly early and I was with my family in the front row and so I didn't even notice that there were SO many people behind us until we all stood up to go out with the casket. It was nice that so many people were able to come. It was held on Good Friday. I think that was a good thing, symbolically...and because lots of people were already off from work. Being that he was in the wrecker service for as long as I can remember (at least 20 years, I think 28 if I remember correctly) he pretty much knew every wrecker in Houston. They all knew and respected (and maybe even loved) him and they all showed up!

One of the coolest parts of his funeral was his testimony. The pastor shared a little bit of it, but it seemed that the crowd spoke it without saying a word. Hearts were mourning, but also rejoicing. That was evident.

The music was fantastic (well, maybe with the exception of one song--however, because of its placement after a letter from my aunt (his wife), the song did well to hold us all together, instead of making the place continue to cry the river from the sweet letter). They sang Amazing Grace at the very beginning and I cried and cried throughout the whole thing...then at the end they sang 3 of his favorite praise and worship songs, and that was neat.

The actual service part was very cool, because along with his testimony, they shared the gospel and made it very apparent that it is exactly the way he would have wanted it. One thing that will always stick with me is he told the pastor that he "almost waited too long" to come to know Jesus and he is so thankful that he didn't. As much as anyone with 2 feet still standing on this earth can attest to it, the pastor said that he was certain of Bubba's eternal future and that he knew he knew the Savior. That was so neat!

With all the wrecker drivers there, you have to know that they ALL brought their own wreckers to the funeral and the procession to the grave site. That was by and large the neatest (and longest) processional I have ever seen for anyone. There were about 200 cars in the line and about 70-80 of them were wreckers---with LOTS of flashing lights. My uncle (and FBI agent) worked out his friends in the bureau to come and work the lights/intersections for us. There were about 20 or so of them and they did a really great job. They were on every corner and even every apartment entrance and such. They held off everyone from going or coming while we passed by. Thankfully we were only about a 5 minute drive to the cemetery.

The burial service was short and sweet. We let 47 balloons go (the age of my uncle when he died). That was a really cool sight to see. Because there was an airport close by my uncle said that he got word we had effected the tower/security --oops! Oh well. It was funny because 3 of the balloons stayed behind (got stuck in the trees) and everyone laughed because they said that was very typical of Bubba to try and stay around, and/or make everyone laugh one more time.

The funeral was really great. It was hard but it was good. I think I was pretty okay until I (every few minutes) stopped to put myself in the girls' shoes or thought of what it'd be like if it were my dad. Then I lost it, then I'd get myself composed and then that cycle would repeat. I tried my best to be comforting and encouraging to my mom, my grandma, and my aunts and uncle. Maybe that was more out of my need to do so than their need to receive it, but either way I hope they all felt loved.

Death certainly makes you think. It has affected me so much, and I think that is why I didn't want to type this up. I don't want to forget. I don't want to move on and not remember. I want to be different. I want to "live like I am dying." They of course played this song to a montage of photos and I heard it over and over and over again. He did it. He knew his time was coming a little more clearly than most of do (if we're to die of an accident or something) and yet, I don't think that is an excuse. He showed everyone he met the love of Christ. I want to do that, to be the hands and feet of Christ... In his death, his life was evident, his love was evident.

I don't even know if I know 500 people, but would all those I do come because I impacted their life, like he did all of south Houston? Thanks Uncle Bubba for showing us (me) how it is done.

Thanks for coming to know God, thanks for making sure, once you did, others did as well! See you someday, and yes, the work that you have done spoke for you! (his casket was stitched saying, "may the works that I have done speak for me")

1 comment:

Marci H said...

Death definitely puts things in perspective. My life, values, and priorities have changed immensely after losing my father.

I would love to get together and hear more about your uncle's story. It sounds so incredibly similiar to my dad's. He sounds like he was an amazing servant ALL his life and it is awesome that he came to know Jesus before his death.

My dad was a volunteer fire fighter for 25 years and he was transported to the grave site on top of a fire truck with a HUGE procession of firetrucks following. It was WAY cool just like it sounded with your uncle.