Ellie from the movie "UP"
The funeral went quite well. I got to see a lot of people that I hadn't for quite a while. Some special groups (hey, I was happy to see EVERYONE - I just don't get to see these people very often) that I was particularly happy to see were uncle Everett Paul and aunt Ann from Georgia, aunt Pat and cousins Laurie (and husband Lindy) and Lisa, and the Schoneman family. Jean Schoneman was Mom's best friend for years, Vern was such a nice guy, and Mary and Mark were kids we played with all the time, way out in the country. They have been in my life since I was five years old, and they mean a lot to me. Mary told me she is going to Rochester to get a spot in her brain checked (possible tumor). Hope all goes well. She and I looked at each other and asked, "What the heck is going on with US?" as we looked at her 90-something year old parents who are very lively and fit. :)
I was talking to the cousins, and Laurie and Lisa decided that the name for my new hairpiece should be ROXIE. I like that. It sounds a little flirty, and yet kind of tough-girl, plus it is another "R" name! I was happy to see them. With everyone's lives being so busy, we do not get to see each other often, but when we do, it always a pleasure to be around them. Really nice people.!
It was a comfort to see Everett and Ann again. Our Everett is an eloquent speaker and also a writer who is busy working on a book. They are both good people and I was happy to see them again.
The flowers were wonderful, Jill and Ken did a fabulous job doing the picture boards (which, frankly, is not an easy task to do!), nephew Andrew went and got the cookies from Hy-Vee and saved us a trip. The toy tractor display was really nice, Everyone (especially the men) enjoyed looking at them. We were all grateful for the nice weather. It made everything easier to bear. Dad looked great in his new denim bibbies and green plaid shirt. I think he would have been happy with our choice. The pastor did a nice job speaking, and also read a piece by Paul Harvey, describing all the jobs that a farmer does. I loved it. Everett also spoke and said a prayer and we really appreciated that. And I was especially happy to see my Little Ma, Nina and Zonna who are always there to support us. I had no doubt that they would help us through the day. (Thanks, Nina, for feeding us supper so I wouldn't have to cook when we got home).
Sister Sandy was ill the night before, but she made it to the funeral services. What a time to be feeling really bad, but she toughed it out.
I was thinking that we have lost three of the Paul "boys" in just the last few years. First Ernie, then Bob, and now Dad. Then I thought of the two new little Paul boys that we have gotten in the last few years, just in my immediate family -- Ray and Emerson Paul. Yup, the generations go on.
So, now it is time to move forward. Wednesday is my last chemo. I am going forward with a little more confidence, that I will get through it without tossing my cookies - but seriously, if that is all that a person has to worry about, then life is pretty easy. I will concentrate during those icky "ten minutes" of the push they give me, and try to not to think how awful popsicles or ice chunks are. Ten minutes. Big deal. (P.S. pray for me -underneath everything, I'm still a wimp) :)
Here's the poem "CLOSE THE GATE" if you are interested in reading it.
FOR THIS ONE FARMER, THE WORRIES ARE OVER.
LIE DOWN AND REST YOUR HEAD.
YOUR TIME HAS BEEN - - - AND STRUGGLES ENOUGH,
PUT THE TRACTOR IN THE SHED.
YEARS WERE NOT EASY - - - MANY DOWNRIGHT HARD,
BUT YOUR FAITH IN GOD TRANSCENDED.
PUT AWAY YOUR TOOLS AND SLEEP IN PEACE.
THE FENCES HAVE ALL BEEN MENDED.
YOU RAISED A FINE FAMILY, WORKED THE LAND WELL
AND ALWAYS FOLLOWED THE SON.
HANG UP YOUR SHOVEL INSIDE OF THE BARN - - -
YOUR WORK HERE ON EARTH IS DONE.
A FAITH FEW POSSESS, LED YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE - - -
OFTEN A JAGGED AND STONY WAY.
THE SUN IS SETTING, THE CATTLE ARE ALL BEDDED,
AND HERE NOW IS THE END OF YOUR DAY.
YOUR LOVE OF GOD'S SOIL HAS PASSED ON TO YOUR KIN:
THE STORIES FLOW LIKE FINE WINE.
WASH OFF YOUR WORK BOOTS IN THE PUDDLE LEFT BY
BLESSED RAIN - - - ONE FINAL TIME.
YOU ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT THE GOOD LORD WOULD PROVIDE,
AND HE ALWAYS HAD SOMEHOW.
TAKE OFF YOUR GLOVES AND PUT THEM DOWN.
NO MORE SWEAT AND WORRY FOR YOU NOW.
YOUR LABOR IS DONE, YOUR HOME IS HEAVEN
NO MORE MUST YOU WAIT.
YOUR LEGACY LIVES ON, YOUR LOVE OF THE LAND - - -
AND WE WILL CLOSE THE GATE.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL