Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Funeral Anecdote

When my son graduated from college, he worked in an office, where he met and formed a friendship with an African-American guy who was about his age. They have remained close friends over a 25 + year period, even though both have moved from that area, until that guy was killed in a car wreck, last week. 

My son wanted to attend the funeral, and he drove 40+ miles to get there. He didn't know what to expect, but after the minister spoke about the deceased, one by one, friends and family members got up to say a few words about the guy  (whom I will call "C".)  There were over 200 people there and quite a few wished to speak. 

Sonny Boy had not written out what he planned to say, but he had given it some thought beforehand. Apparently, C was a wonderful guy, who would do most anything for anyone, but he was a bit disorganized. He told my son a story about something he did once - and Sonny Boy thought they should all know about it. 

C was asked by an acquaintance if he would be an usher in his wedding, and true to form, C agreed. He was given the details of the wedding location and about the tux rental. On the day of the wedding, C set off to find the church and once in that neighborhood, he saw an open church where it was obvious a wedding was about to begin. He parked and rushed in, and noticed that his cummerbund was not quite the same color as the other men, but before he could question it, the wedding director handed the mother of the bride to him and said...."Here, walk her down the aisle." He did, and when he got back to the vestibule, the bride appeared in a doorway. He then knew that he was at the wrong wedding. He rushed out of that church and drove around the neighborhood, looking for another church that appeared to have a wedding that day. Sure enough, he found it, a bit late but just in time to discharge his duties. 

The funny part was this:  while he was walking the mother of the bride down the aisle, the photographer was taking photos of the two. All C could think of afterward was to wonder what the bride, groom and their parents would say when they saw their wedding photos and realized that the mother's escort was someone unknown to any of them!    

My son said the whole congregation erupted in laughter and it helped to change the funeral from a sad occasion to a true "celebration of the life of C. " 

There was a bit of synchronicity with a photo too. About 3 weeks before the guy died, my son's wife was looking at some old photos. They found a photo of C, dandling his then baby daughter on his knee, dressed in a Halloween costume. Sonny boy put that one on his dresser, lest it get lost. After he got word of the guy's passing, he decided to give that photo to C's now 22 year old daughter. She had few photos of herself with her dad, and now this one will be especially dear to her. Wasn't it good luck that they found that photo when they did?!


Jay Simser said...

Thanks Judy for that wonderful story. It brought a tear or two to my eyes.

LL Cool Joe said...

Sorry I had to laugh at the story at the wedding. That's a classic. I'd love to have seen the look on the families faces as they tried to find out who that guy was. :D

robin andrea said...

What a wonderful story, sad and heartfelt. It's not easy to keep friendships over long periods, and this story tells why it is so important.

tiff said...

I do love how the Universe sometimes conspires on our behalf. So sorry your son lost a friend, but happy he was able to share some fun times with the congregation and give than man's little girl a picture of her and her Daddy.

redondowriter said...

Great and beautiful story, Judy. I love these kinds of synchronicities. My condolences to the family and friends of C.