Sunday, January 2, 2011
Love, Friendship and just a few F-Bombs!
After a teensy weensy issue with showing up at the Elks Lodge instead of the Eagles Lodge for the memorial service, we managed to find the right place and, I might add, to park just a tad illegally in the very last smidgen of space left to park out in front of the Omak Eagles Lodge. Upon entering the lodge, it was, as you might imagine, just exactly what a social hall in a small town might be.....wood paneling, snowflakes and tinsel left over from New Year's Eve dangling from the ceiling, and crowded wall to wall with people.
Our dear friend who's father had passed said a few words about her dad, and then the slideshow began. What is it with country music? I mean, one minute we're watching the slideshow of these great old photos of her dad as a boy, and the next minute Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton opened the flood gates with that song..."when I get where I'm going, there'll be only happy tears". You could hear the sniffling and see the wiping of the eyes all around that little lodge. And then, at the end of it, the story telling began. Remember the title of this post? Well, that's when the f-bombs started too. We heard stories about hunting, fishing, trapshooting and pranks that were full of some of the most colorful language available to mankind. And you know what? It was probably one of the most honest displays of love and friendship that I've ever witnessed. There was no pomp and circumstance. It was old guys in Wrangler's, cowboy hats and hunting jackets with their Ford pickups parked out front, coming in to honor a guy who devoted his life to loving up on his friends and his family. And so, when he passed, they came in droves, with hilarious stories to share. One man stood and shared the story of two particularly loyal friends who, for months on end, showed up to the house at 7:30 in the morning, gave two knocks, then came in to brew the coffee and share a cup and a conversation with their buddy who had this awful cancer. It was a simple act of love, friendship and kindness that drew a standing ovation.
This first adventure of 2011 was a lesson for the three of us who made the journey together. A full life is a life that's full of love, that's filled with friendship, and where an occasional f-bomb is just the adjective required to tell a story about a very special man.