We made it home in one piece and all is well.
After the experience of this trip, I felt inclined to share some thoughts with you, if I may.
The visiting with family during this event was very nice...a few tears were shed by all as would be expected, but we were all with family and friends to comfort each other when it got rough. Fortunately for me, this has been my first attendance of a funeral for a family member since I was about 7 years old, but I didn't know how I would handle it...we never really do, I guess.
The chapel prayer service and church funeral service were very nice, and a lot of memories were shared during each service...good memories of how my father had such a profound and positive influence on all those he knew. We did as I had hoped, and celebrated my fathers life and how he was always willing to help those in need, and being an ever so gentle, kind, understanding, caring and courteous man to everyone he met. "Just being there" was a comment made by several people during their sharing of memories of how he always seemed to provide a comforting presence. I felt comforted by the many family members and friends as they shared some of their experiences with my father.
He would give of his time and expense to aid others even if they didn't ask, and they would appreciate him for it. Some people think that you can't help someone who doesn't ask, as it may not be understood or accepted with appreciation...this was not how my father thought that life should be. He had a way with giving that was accepted by others and they may not have known how much they needed his help at the time, but understood, accepted and appreciated him for it later. He touched many people in many ways, and all of us who knew him were influenced by him in some way and are better people because of him.
He always knew somehow, that he would be able to provide for his family and never seemed to worry about money or material possessions, as they didn't matter in his way of life. He lived the simple life of a self-employed farmer/rancher and was happy with his life.
May all mankind strive to achieve what my father did everywhere he went without hesitation...giving of his time whenever someone needed help...teaching his children, neighbors or friends anything he felt might help them...accepting and respecting other peoples decisions in life...never expecting anything in return...it simply was his way of life, to serve God and man.
With that, a salute to my dear departed father...may he rest in peace, with the knowledge that he served his fellow man well, and did the very best that he knew how to be a good husband, father, grand-father, great-grand-father, neighbor, and, a friend to anyone who needed one.
Thanks to all, for being here for my family and myself during this difficult time...you are all my friends!