Monday, January 25, 2010

The Home Going Service

The service was to start at 2:00.  I told the funeral director I wanted the car to pick us up at 12:45.  He argued with me.  He didn’t understand.  I wanted to be there while people were arriving.  I wanted to see them, to remember them all. 

When Tom & I arrived, my co-workers were already there.  We have around 50 people in our office.  I know at least 30 of them were there that day.  Several of them had visited us in our home in the days before the funeral.

Our church parking lot had recently been re-surfaced.  The lines hadn’t been re-painted yet.  I know the church staff worked very hard getting everything ready,  the lines were painted, extra chairs were put out.  Our praise and worship team was there to provide us with anointed music.   I was surprised to see them all there.  The fact that they were there blessed me.  The music blessed us all. 

The memorial DVD was playing as people arrived.  It was perfect.  Around 1:45 the director asked if it was okay to start.  It was early, but there wasn’t any room left in the church.  The over flow was overflowing.  There were kids sitting in the floor.  I didn’t get to see them, but there were cowboys dressed in all their gear.  I don’t know if this is standard practice, but one of the EMTs was there.  The owner of the bull that Peyton was riding was there and spoke to us.  I don’t know if they thought we would blame them, of course we don’t.  The shop where we get our haircut, closed for the service and all three girls were there.  Peyton’s bosses closed their business and they were there.  I was overwhelmed with all the people stopping their lives to come and support us.  It was estimated there were 1300 people in attendance.

Six people besides the Pastor spoke at the service.  The first one was a former employer.  I thought he probably saw a side of Peyton that most people didn’t have the chance to see.  Peyton would ride around with Bill and go to convenience stores and try to buy tobacco products.  If they sold it to him, they were fined.  I remember once Peyton came home and told us he felt bad for one lady.  She sold it to him and Peyton didn’t think she could afford to pay a fine.   A year or so later he was buying smokeless tobacco for his own underage use.   Three cousins spoke, one was his English teacher and two friends.  They all told funny stories and had us all laughing.  Pastor did a wonderful job and when people left, they knew Peyton was in Heaven and they could go there too if they accepted Jesus as their Savior. 

On the way to the cemetery I got a look at all the cars, they were everywhere, many of them with rebel flags flying.   After the graveside service, I noticed one mom giving all the kids yellow roses to lay on top of his casket.

When we arrived home, our church had a great meal prepared.  I was so glad when people ate with us.  I wasn’t ready for Tom and I to be home alone.

These are just the things I know about.  I’m sure there are other acts of kindness I haven’t heard about.  The next few posts will be about the days, weeks, & months following Peyton’s service, the day to day hurting and healing.  I hope I can do it justice.

There were things I didn’t mention in my previous post about the days leading up to the service.  I had already written about them in this post.  (there are some things in this one that I’ve talked about here too)

Thanks for reading.


Kay said...

You know, our funeral director didn't understand us either. He kept saying we can do it 'this way or that way' and neither of those ways worked for us. Finally we argued with him (NICELY) and explained that we WANTED to be with the people that we cared about and that cared about us. He kept trying to keep us away from people and it drove us nuts. I got a little upset when we arrived at the church only to discover that the sign in book had not arrived yet. I wanted to know everyone that was there and so many had already arrived.

One of Bub's doctors.. his allergist from before he got sick and his nurse come. He had been Bub's allergist since he was about 9 months old. It really surprised me that he canceled appointments to be with us.

I'm so glad you had such great support. Looking forward to hearing the rest of your story.

Kelley said...

I completely understand about needing people to be there at home. My parents weren't home alone much during our difficult time. My brother Blake was funny and everyone had a story and shared it with my parents. It made us all laugh. See Blake was a stinker. We all knew it. Every family has to have one of those.

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

I don't know how people can get through these difficult times without Jesus. And without a loving church family.

Burdens are lifted at Calvary!

At Christian's service, David and I stood in the foyer and greeted everyone as they came in. It was surreal.