Yesterday, on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, I was invited and attended the funeral of a former client, a 31-year veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. He had served more than half his life, and died too young. The funeral took place on a hot, sunny day in a small church in rural Virginia. The coffin was draped in the American flag and more flags stood as sentries nearby. The pews were filled with his family, friends, community members, and many men in full dress uniform. The service started with an “oorah” and ended with the playing of God Bless the U.S.A.
There was a sense that it was perfectly appropriate that this man, who had dedicated his life to his country, should be laid to rest on Memorial Day weekend. Several people spoke of his life with moving stories of his dedication to his family and country, all of them visibly devastated by the loss. His wife referred to him as her hero, her husband, and her soldier.
Perhaps most moving of all were the words spoken by his daughter. She spoke of things that he loved. Some of it was emotional, some of it was sad, some of it was funny, and all of it touched the heart. I learned that he loved his Lord, loved his family, loved his fellow soldiers, and loved to eat pickles. I learned that he loved to take his wife shopping – although he always waited in the car. I learned that he loved to camp, loved his grandchildren, and loved his country beyond all measure. He was clearly a man with a huge heart.
We should all be so fortunate as to be remembered with such devotion and love by our family and friends. On this Memorial Day weekend, as I spend time with my loved ones, I will remember with affection, gratitude, and deep respect this client, a former soldier who served and loved with equal measure.
Post written by Cari Mikalson