Some of the things we did from the end of September into November were:
- Family movie night at school (the movie JD wanted to see, Space Buddies)
- Trick or treating with our neighbors and JD's godfather and his girlfriend and her son.
- Camping at Gettysburg Campground the first weekend in November for their final Halloween weekend (great site decorations, a haunted house, and so much candy from more trick or treating!)
- Finished up JD's soccer season the second weekend in November and had a team party...he was so excited for his trophy!
The next, like, 10 days were filled with friends, family and all the things you need to take care of for funeral services. Things like getting dad's clothes together (as the mortitian, Rich McDonough, said "bring his clothes like he's going to church"); picking hymns and reading and decided who would do them; choosing the casket; choosing pall barers; meeting with Father Kindon at the church; choosing flowers; and what goes on prayer cards, both picture and verse. The prayer card picture was pretty easy. We chose a photo of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, one of dad's favorite places.
We had a viewing for dad on Monday night (Dec 2) and Tuesday morning, before the funeral mass. Between both visitation times, there were close to two hundred people who came to pay their respects to dad. Amazing! It shows you what kind of guy he was. Customers from where he used to work; the owners of the company he worked for (one even drove from FL!); freinds of Dave and mine from highschool and thier parents; neighbors, old and new; the staff from one of dad and mom's favorite plaes to eat; I even had friends come from Michigan and Maryland to be there. My boss and the owner of my company drove up for the funeral and cemetery service on Tuesday. Wow! The mass was beautiful and Fr. Kindon spoke beautifully about dad. Everything he said was just so perfect. The cemetery is a good distance from the church, but the ride is beautiful. It's in Newtown, PA, not far from historic Washington Crossing, PA and it has only been open for a few years. They placed the pavillions for the services far from the road, in case of protesters, such as the Westboro Baptist group. From where they are, you'd never know if there were protestor at the front gate while the service was going on...well done on that design! They had an honor guard and a 21 gun salute and someone playing Taps. It was just beautiful and respectful and perfect. At some point I plan to write something about dad...there's only so much you can say in an obituary. Will post it here when I do.
Reece and JD went home Tuesday night after the funeral so that JD could get back to school. I stayed until the next day...didn't want mom to have to be alone in the house Tuesday night. From the time I got back until this past weekend, it's been go, go, go! I scheduled to volunteer at JD's school that Friday, which I did do. It was nice to be with the kids. Then Saturday Reece and I went to Hershey to see Straight No Chaser for Reece's birthday. The following weekend we had the family party at Reece's union hall and made a Costco run for our open house the following weekend. And through all this I (with a bit of help) decorated the house, got gifts, planned Christmas dinner, got a haircut (finally!), sent out thank yous for flowers and donations/flowers from the dad's services, and got our Christmas cards out. We spent Christmas day with Reece's family and went to NJ to vist my mom and brother and his girlfriend the weekend after. We also got to meet Dave's new black lab puppy, Nova. She's a cuite and really a good dog. Came home Sunday and then a few das later went out for New Year's Eve with some friends. Definitely time to say out with the old, in with the new year!
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and has a very Happy and Healthy New Year! Here's to a great 2014!