Friday, June 5, 2009

a day of chance meeting

When I got up today I had only one thing on mind. I had to go to the funeral of a dear friend. Today I was going to lay to rest one of Americas hero's..... and a man I was proud to call my friend.
I went to my closet to try to find something to wear to his funeral. The suit I wore to my sisters funeral is gone. I left that back there, so I had to search. I finally found an outfit, so I jumped in the shower.
I got dressed, got Rusty's pants pressed, ate some breakfast and watched a baby bob cat in our front yard.I went back into our bathroom to finish putting on my face. Today was one of the few day's that I will wear make up. Amber followed me in there, and she ended up straightening my hair for me. I Must say that it looked really nice.
Then it was off to the cemetery. I have been to this cemetery many times. My in laws are berried there. Countless friends are there, and it was where I did the roll call. I know this cemetery very well... or so I thought.
We get to the cemetery a little early, so Rusty says "I want to go see the medal of honor wall." What? We have one of those? So we went to look at it.
As we are walking up to the wall I stop on the marine corp emblem. I have seen it a million times. It is the same eagle globe and anchor. Nothing has changed on it. As I looked up my life did change, because it was then that I noticed someone taking a picture of me.
I was no to concerned about this lady. Then the lady turned and took a picture of Rusty. As this lady walked around and took pictures I walked with Rusty. We just looked all the names on the wall. The wall was not a creepy and the Vietnam wall, but still a little creepy. I decided to walk out to the front and there was the lady again.
I walked up to her and asked her this was her first time at the cemetery. Yes, indeed it was her first time there. She had been hired to take pictures of the cemetery because someone is putting together a book on the cemetery. I thought that was cool. The lady tells me that the book will be out in December.
I go back to where Rusty is and he starts pointing out names on the wall. The lady walks up to Rusty and I and asked if we would be willing to sign a release so that our pictures could be put in the book. we both signed the release and we went our separate ways.
Rusty and I drove over to the staging area where we met up with a lot of other people that we knew. Then it was time for all of us to go to another area of the cemetery. We get out of the truck and I just reach up and grab Rusty's hand. I had to hold Rusty's hand, because that is what little girls do. They always hold the hand of the man who loves them. As a child I would hold my dad's hand. If I held my dad's hand then no hard could come to me. Now that I am married I hold Rusty's hand, so that no harm will come to me.
A motor cycle group called the rough riders were there. The came up with the flags flying. That is such an awesome sight to see.
As we walked up to the sidewalk we did not speak. I was looking down at the ground, and that was when Rusty pulled my hand back. I knew to stop walking. I looked up and there in front of me was the Hurst. They swung the door open and there was the flag draped coffin.
I just stood there and watched them move the casket up to the pavilion. Once we started to walk again I noticed a bagpipe player, the drum and bugler people were there, and the lady with the camera.
Rusty and I stood in the back. I stood there watching everything going on around me. The the 21 gun salute went off. I hate that sound. I was fine until the guy on the bagpipes started playing Amazing Grace. That was when the tears started to flow. Rusty just put his arms around me and when I looked down I noticed his tears in my hair.
As the service was ending the lady with the camera noticed Rusty and I. She snapped a picture of me and then just grabbed my arm. She then leaned over and said "I had no idea you were here for this funeral." I just smiled. How could she have known. I was just hoping that she got some good pictures for her book and for the family.
When we got back to the post I went and changed clothes and then went to have a smoke. I sat outside for a while when a biker gentlemen came and sat down. I just kept looking at him, because I could not place his face. He seemed like a nice guy, but where did I know him from?
We all went inside so the food could be blessed. The guy grabbed my arm and pulled me in front of him. I am glad that I am small because that place was packed! So I got to talking to the guy and he is indeed part of the rough riders, and was working when I went and did roll call! I told him that I was the lady in the Muslim head dress. We now know where we knew each other from.
After talking to this gentlemen for a while I learned that next year they want to do a roll call at our local cemetery. I told him to put my name down and that I would be willing to read at both cemeteries.
Who knew that my day would take me on so many chance encounters. Today was one of those days that I was glad I left the house and met new people. I will never forget this day. Yes we laid a dear friend to rest, but I met up with some totally awesome people who have forever changed my life.


a corgi said...

(((Kelli))) so sorry about the loss of your friend; I'm glad you got to make friends with some new people today though


LYN said...


Gerry said...

This entry would almost bring tears to anyone's eyes. Giving up life while still young and vibrant must be so hard. I am glad that you have such a deep appreciation for the depth of this sacrifice and have found so many ways to comfort those affected and left behind. Gerry

Lori said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear friend, but glad for the experiences you had on this day.

About Me

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lake elsinore, ca
I am a stay at home mom. I am also married to a veteran and he is the love of my life. I keep it real here and I hold nothing back. My life is a roller coaster ride, so strap on your seatbelt.... here we go!