One More Time

15 Aug

Yesterday, we attended a funeral for an old and very dear friend. The Squire had known Herb from his early days at Equitable Trust, and was pleasantly surprised to see him when he started coming to church with me. Herb’s wife died in January, and he had just given up. He’d had several strokes, and his sons had decided that enough was enough. He was 86.

Herb had served in the Army during the Korean War, and one of his grandsons – and his wife – are also in the Army, so the funeral was what I’d call semi-military. The coffin was brought into the church covered with the American flag, Taps was played, and the grandchildren and another officer folded the flag and handed it to the two sons. The coffin was then covered with a pall and the service went on from there.

When my dad died, I didn’t know all this good stuff was available from the VFW or wherever, and we had some poor soul from the local high school playing Anchors Aweigh on a clarinet – in the rain.

Herb was to be cremated, so there was no internment; Fr. Matthew played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes as the coffin was carried back to the hearse, and then we all went into the hall for a meal.

I have mentioned before that it is worth your life to grab me from behind, and also that my best friend’s husband has been after me for years to leave The Squire and marry him. I have promised that I would do so when he stopped smoking and when I grow up. He’s done his part, but there’s no hope of the latter. Obviously a red-hot romance.

During the dinner, The Boyfriend stumbled and instinctively reached for the closest available solid object, which just happened to be me. I screamed, and we both ended up on the floor. Several people came dashing over to help us – there was absolutely no harm done to either of us – but BFF just raised her eyebrows and suggested if we were going to carry on that way we ought to at least get a room.

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