Funeral pics are up on www.leakycreek.com- Part I

Sigh.  I’m trying to get some odds and ends wrapped up before I go back to work.  I know when I go back to work, I’ll be exhausted and tired and will have little free time.

I’ve tried numerous times to work crop, re-size, and label the funeral pictures.  Each time I end up emotionally drained, in tears, or both.  Today, I realized that I don’t have the capability to allow myself to become to personally involved with the photos.  I need to become detached- to re-size generic photos, not photos of my beloved husband’s services.

Mary Ann Kyte, takes good photos, so I really didn’t need to do much cropping.  Basically, I just needed to do a mass re-size and posting campaign.  So, that’s what I did.  Believe it or not, I did pare down some of the photos.  In time, perhaps I will delete more, but for now I think it is important that people see the huge involvement that John’s services needed… not only were Community Fire Company of Rising Sun & Annapolis Fire Department involved, but there were companies from across Cecil, Harford, Maryland as well as Lancaster & Chester County, PA that assisted with standby crews for Station 8.  I also am aware that there was a lot of things that happened behind the scenes that I may never know about in order to make John’s viewing and funeral run perfectly.

I will share a few photos- the rest can be found at www.leakycreek.com

When a member of Community Fire Company of Rising Sun passes away his/her name is displayed here

John P. Smith II

John P. Smith II

As far as I know, his name is still there, I hope it will be for a long time, that means nobody else who was a member passed away.

Rising Suns fire equipment lined up

Rising Sun's fire equipment lined up

Black drapes on the engine bay

Black drapes on the engine bay

The flag was lowered to half mast in honor of John.

The flag was lowered to half mast in honor of John. You can see the sky darkening in this photo.

At the entrance, the American flag flew between two ladder trucks.

At the entrance, the American flag flew between two ladder trucks.

Flag flying

Flag flying

Standby crews came from many places to keep CFCRS in service.  Here is Robert Fulton from Lancaster County, PA.

Standby crews came from many places to keep CFCRS in service. Here is Robert Fulton from Lancaster County, PA.

Flower arragnements surrounded the casket

Flower arragnements surrounded the casket.

IAFF flower arrangement

IAFF flower arrangement

The arrangement that I purchased to cover the casket.  I picked red and white because those were the colors in my wedding dress as well as to symbolize the fire company.  Inside of the casket I had a small arangement from Nathaniel and myself with yellow roses that I believe said, Love Always, Nathaniel & Mary.

The arrangement that I purchased to cover the casket. I picked red and white because those were the colors in my wedding dress as well as to symbolize the fire company. Inside of the casket I had a small arangement from Nathaniel and myself with yellow roses that I believe said, "Love Always, Nathaniel & Mary."

The honor guard was polished to perfection.  It always amazes me how perfect they look.  Probably because Im someone who never can achieve perfection- wrinkled clothes, hair out of place, heck... usually some form of animal hair on me...

The honor guard was polished to perfection. It always amazes me how perfect they look. Probably because I'm someone who never can achieve perfection- wrinkled clothes, hair out of place, heck... usually some form of animal hair on me...

It brings back memories of John in the academy, polishing his boots till they were super shiny.  He was meticulous at cleaning them.  Of course, if you had to pick a few words to describe John… meticulous would probably come up.

Flags

Flags- USA & Maryland

Flags- I believe these are Annapolis and IAFF

Flags- I believe these are Annapolis and IAFF

A table was set up with photos.

A table was set up with photos.

More photos

More photos

Photo board

Photo board

Perhaps the most important detail

Perhaps the most important detail

One of my huge concerns is that Nathaniel won’t remember Nathaniel.  I hope that John’s family, friends, and brothers  will help Nathaniel know what a great father he had.

During the second viewing a huge thunderstorm came through.

During the second viewing a huge thunderstorm came through.

I was stuck in the receiving line, but I could see the storm through one set of doors.  It even hailed.  The rain just poured.

My good friend, Charlie McCloud, came by and took me by the arm.  He was one of the people watching out for me during the services.  Keeping me from getting too stressed… reminding me to hydrate… and step away if I needed to.

Charlie told me something to the effect of, “Nothing is wrong, but I need you to come with me.  I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m being rude.  Come with me.”

Charlie led me outside and I saw one of the most beautiful sights that I’ve ever seen–

A rainbow that from my vantage point was right over Johns Truck.

A rainbow that from my vantage point was right over "John's Truck."

I was later told that it had been a double rainbow.  John and I had talked a lot about our skepticism as to if there really was a Heaven and a God.  Neither of us had seen signs or were people with much faith in God.  I can’t help but honestly believe that this was John’s way of telling me that he’s okay and that there is more out there for us that life on Earth.  I’ll probably post about that at another point in time.

Rainbows were special to us.  I remember an occasion where we had a beautiful rainbow over the back field… I believe it was John who got out the camera to photograph it (John was  a more talented photographer than I am, but he took way less photos and wasn’t quick to grab the camera.  My good shots are mostly by luck and his were more skill based.  Of course he’s had formal schooling in photography, I haven’t.  )  We considered double rainbows to be very special and rarely saw them.

I just felt like John was giving me a sign.  You can’t get much better of a sign than that!  I can’t tell you the comfort that the rainbow brought to me.

I am eternally great-full to Charlie for taking me out to see the rainbow.  He told me that if he hadn’t then he was worried that nobody else would have and I’d only hear about it.  He’s probably right.  I don’t know if I would have believed it if I hadn’t seen in first hand.

I also half wonder if the pouring rain and hail wasn’t his way of getting everybody’s attention, so that they’d see the rainbow!

I can’t tell you how much the rainbow has changed my spiritual picture and view on life.  It will never take away the pain of being alone and without my beloved John, and it won’t ever explain why he’s gone, but it does provide a great deal of comfort.

It’s late or early depending on your perspective, so I’ll finish with part II tomorrow…

Let me leave you with one of the songs that I picked to go with the viewing sideshow– Van Halen of course… John’s favorite band.  I don’t know what his favorite song was, but this one seemed to fit.

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About Mary K. Smith

I was widowed in July 2009, when I lost my beloved husband, John, to melanoma. Cancer SUCKS. We have a young son who was just a year old when his father died. I live on a small farm in Maryland which is home to horses, cats, and a dog. I started this blog as a way for me to heal, a way to remember my husband, and eventually I'd like to share it with our son so he can see the love that his father had for him, the love that we had for each other, what a great person his father was, and how hard his father fought to live.
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