This past Monday we went to the funeral for my wife's grandmother. Her name was Lassie Payne. She turned 89 on January 10th. It just so happens that's my birthday.
If you haven't been to one of these events in the countryside, you've really missed something. Funerals in the city are somber and sad. There are usually tear jerking sermons in a church with a closed coffin all pointing to the "end" of a person's life. Funerals in the countryside are always different. Family and friends gather in a small funeral home with an open casket. Yes, you see the person. While you see their resting body, the site of it says somehow "they are still alive". And if you are a believing Christian, this is definitely true. Family and friends don't seem somber. They seem happy. After all, this is a reunion of sorts. All the arrangements on this day were managed by Whitfield Funeral Home of Baldwin, Georgia.
After a certain amount of time, we said a prayer and then went to our cars, already lined up, and headed to the cemetery. Each of our cars had a flag on it saying "funeral". On the roads there were 4 police cars waiting for the processional. Then we were escorted, front and back, by the police with their lights flashing. Our cars had their headlights turned on. Cars pulled off of the road and waited for the processional to go by. Just like when I was a kid in Jacksonville, FL. This is exactly how it went with Lassie's ride to the Tate’s Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.
At graveside, a country preacher from nearby, gave a brief sermon and a remembrance of the life of "Mama Lassie". Instead of a final prayer, he sang, and really good I might add, "Amazing Grace". WOW. Preachers out there can move you with words and song.
See you in the future Mama Lassie!