Sunday, October 09, 2011

Memorial Service for my dad

On Sept. 24, I had a memorial service for my dad. For me, it was not the traditional, go to the funeral home type service. It was held in my mom's backyard. I rented a 30x30 tent with tables and chairs for 90 people. We had centerpieces and food for after. I spent hours working on a video to share with family and friends. I planned it to be perfect, just for him. I guess in my mind, it represented how much my dad meant to me. It started with me getting up to thank everyone for coming. The problem was, I did not write anything down to say. Every time I went to write, my mind went blank. I had rehearsed over and over what I would say, what I wanted to say, how I would eliminate some things, add something else. There was just so much and I couldn't get it down on paper. Oh, I have sheets of paper all over from my flights to go up there over this year, the flights on my way home, notes or thoughts while I was up there, and obviously this blog as well. So, after I started my thank you's and after the nice neighbor across the street stopped the landscapers (yes, right when I got up to talk, they appeared behind my mom's backyard brick wall to trim the oleander's,). They were nice enough to stop though... so back to the service. I thanked people and left some out (ughh... I knew that would happen, it's IMPORTANT to write things down for situations like this!!!) the Marines entered for the full honor guard.
My entire life, I had imagined this service. When I was little, I would tell my dad that I wanted the flag and even as I got older. I never thought the day would come though, that I'd be accepting a flag in honor of my dad's service to this country. The ceremony was... I don't even think I know the words to describe it. It was somber, beautiful, sad, respectful, amazing. I am so proud of my father, he was an amazing man who accomplished his dreams. He had no fear, he protected his family and loved them with all he had. He was a true friend to so many people. Ones that I can count and go to for advice, because my dad was the man he was. Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity, and Respect.

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