Friday, June 05, 2009

Yesterday Was The Funeral

I, my wife, Anselm and Basil left the house at 7 a.m. for the drive down 101 to Paso Robles. We arrived met my brothers, my sister, some of their spouses and children, my 2nd son Devon and Billy's employer for brunch before the funeral. I was overcome at lunch and had to lean on my brother-in-law. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it through the funeral later. Thankfully, at the grave side there were chairs, else I think my legs would have failed me.

The men who bore my son's pall were friends of his from high school and and the ranch where he worked. They were all balling. Huge cowboys cried tears for my son. I was amazed by how many friends he had. The Assemblies of God pastor who preached was Billy's next door neighbor and had known Billy for 11 years.

I learned much about my son Billy at his funeral. I learned from one woman that he was tormented by the memories of the things he had to do in Afghanistan. I overheard a man talking about Billy who said Billy had killed hundreds of Taliban in the war (he was a machine gunner). The rancher Billy worked for said he was awarded many medals. But more impressive to me than the medals on his chest (A U.S.M.C. officer officially thanked Billy's mother for Billy's service to the country. I have one of the shells from the 9-gun salute in my pocket.) was the deep love of his many friends. They talked about his loyalty to me. They told me how he was one of the nicest people they ever met. They told me that he was anextremely hard worker (That much I did know.) They knew a man I never knew. I wish I had known him. I am very proud of that man. I am looking forward to meeting him.

From Paso Robles we drove over to the coast and up the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Cruz. We stopped at San Simeon to look at the elephant seals sleeping on the beach. We stopped at Carmel to let Basil and Anselm play in the water. We stopped in Santa Cruz to eat dinner at Vasili's. There was a Greek band and dancing. Anselm, Basil and I waved little Greek flags in time to the music. Basil danced in his chair. We drove over the mountains from Santa Cruz to Silicon Valley. We got home a little after 9 p.m., the boys had baths and then to bed.


Rev Dr Robin Roseberry said...

My dear cousin Matt I am so sorry we were unable to make it to Billy Matthews funeral but please know that you and yours were in our prayers all day along with our church family.

In Jesus Name
Be Blessed
We love you
Robin, James III,& Aaron Clements
Elisabeth, Nichole & Jeramey

DebD said...

hugs and prayers. I will light a candle for Billy Matthew at Vespers. May his memory be eternal!

Philippa said...

May God continue to comfort you and yours Matt. A heavy sorrowful joyful cross. Kyrie Elesion.

Mimi said...

It sounds like it was a beautiful funeral. My humble prayers continue.