Today we will bury David’s uncle Ed who became my true friend years after he was just my uncle.
For a couple of reasons we have had to wait all these days for his final services but the day is here now.
Today at 10am, we will do the whole thing just right there in the funeral parlor according to his wishes.
It was 15 or 20 years ago when he took care of all the arrangements, the casket, the service, the cemetery plot where he will lie down again at last beside his pretty wife Fran.
This picture shows him at her funeral, in April of ’99.
Just the sight of him bending over like that brings tears to my eyes. The woman holding the baby is our friend Karen who’s the kind of person who just comes. Back when my mom died she left her job as an EMT in the middle of a shift so as to sing with six others, EMT uniform and all, at that funeral Mass.
I look at all those folks and think of their kindness in showing up, coming even to the cemetery. The somber-faced little boy there is now a sophomore in college. My hair was dark. Uncle Ed was only 79.
Well this funeral will bring comfort. I did find some great music for it, five short pieces burned on a CD and ready to go:
In Paradisum from the Faure Requiem is about the most beautiful music I have ever heard. Terrence Malik used it in the most beautiful scene of all in his 1999 remake of The Thin Red Line.
That story takes place in the South Pacific where Uncle Ed was stationed for three long years.
This is how he looked then. I just found this picture yesterday.
And do: here’s a little of the music for today and above it this just-discovered likeness of the man when he was a young man on an island off New Guinea, able and strong with his young life all before him.