We headed up Monday night to stay at my Aunt Jan's. Dad's burial service was on Tuesday at eleven in a beautiful cemetery up next to the mountains in Salt Lake.
When we pulled up half an hour early, we were both so touched to see the Honor Guard already in place, holding perfectly still in honor of our Dad. They didn't move until it was time to bring Dad over, and I was extremely touched as they saluted him and stood guard over his body.
There really was a big turn out and that was neat.
The service was very touching. Tony conducted and Steve Jr spoke, and then several people made comments, including sweet KJ, who told the story of last April Fool's Day, when Dad asked him four times what he'd done to his arm (he'd wrapped it as a joke) and then laughed joyously every time when KJ said "April Fools." He said how he loved his Grandpa. I was so proud of him. I said how much I'll miss my friend, because that it what Dad was for me -- my friend. The Double B just quickly told the story of the time he accidentally hit Dad in the back with a big log while cutting down a tree and then mentioned how much his Dad has changed over the last couple years, how much he had learned to enjoy little children and had started expressing his love more. We are proud of Dad. When the Honor Guard folded the flag and presented it to Mom and then played "Taps," my heart was truly touched. Dad really, really loved his country and was proud of his service in the military.
Benson just wasn't too sure of any of it, but it did help afterwards when he found his Emily. Emily really does make everything better. (The Double B's big brother Walt is in the background of this picture. He is the youngest son of Dad's older kids.)
My parents drove all the way up to Salt Lake that morning to attend Dad's burial, and I just thought that was truly amazing. My Aunt Jan and Uncle Dennis came and all my aunts and uncles sent a plant, which was so thoughtful.
After the service Mom B was very sick and we rushed to get her home (as much as you can rush four and a half hours). She has a lot of healing to do, but I know she'll be able to do it with time and distance.
We are all exhausted on a cellular level but thankful for a tender experience and more thankful then we can say that Dad B was ours.
When we got home, I had 106 Benson selfies on my phone.
And that is pretty great.