My older brother and I went to my "Uncle Harry'a" funsral today.
Upon arrival, we seemed a bit swarmed by all of our parenta' friends. Surprisingly, no one looked at my wheelchair. But maybe I shouldn't be so surprised - it's Ft. Collins. There are more reasons but I think "Ft. Collins" is a good one.
We sat with Fred, who was my dad's student long ago, who now teaches history at CU, and who is brilliant, funny, and caring. No one has ever done this - usually everyone stands and I sit, which is fine. But on the last hymn, Fred sat with me and didn't get up. That's Fred - he's unique.
I saw my first piano teacher, Mrs. Wilbur. I was amazed at her - I remember her as a grandmother figure, but she was there, not as a grandma, but as someone who seemed to be saying to me, "I'm strong and you are, too."
I saw my second piano teacher (I switched in 6th grade) who I see more frequently than others.
Many other people I saw - one wanted to talk athletics and we joked about how, like a good athlete, I had handcycled too hard too early.
And then of course there was the service. I never knew Uncle Harry had such a strong faith. This was quite evident in the service and in the words people spoke of him.
I guess I didn't realize hia love of music was so strong. A concerto contest in Ft. Collins was named after him and hia late wife. I had participated in the junior division of this contest. Fairly recently I uncovered a tape recording of when I had performed for that. It's now more special.
It can be nerve-wracking to go somewhere and see people I hadn't seen in awhile. But I was reminded that these people who were there knew me as a little girl, and to them I am the same Beth.
There were many tears at this service and hymns like "How Great Thou Art' seemed to have such power.
And the readings - so true to Uncle Harry, like this part of one:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
I'll miss Uncle Harry. He won't be forgotten.