Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hats & Boots to Fill

While in Oklahoma for my Grandpa's funeral, I was party to some pretty interesting post-death goings-on. There were typical moments of ordering flowers, picking out pictures from a long life to share with fellow mourners in celebration of our loved one, lots of eating of funeral food. (Praise God for wonderful women -and a few men- who cook for comfort.) We wrote MANY thank-you notes.

Then, there were the not-so-typical times.
My aunts and mom were intent on DOING CONSTRUCTIVE THINGS. They worked on the yard, emptying long-ignored flower pots to take some home to use (a little piece of Dad's garden.) They all went together to the nursing home to remove Grandpa's clothes and hygiene items. They divided the MANY gifts of plants sent for the funeral - I only escaped bringing one home because I was flying. The strangest moment for me was when they lined up all of grandpa's shoes and boots to see if any of us could use them or wanted them. Grandpa had smallish feet lengthwise, but very wide. I ended up taking 2 pairs home for my boys. I thought they could use them for a year or two when they visit Uncle Rodney's farm, then maybe I can use a pair for a cool planter.

Just a few of Grandpa's hats. (Uncle Rodney in background.)

My cousin Kevin with his choice of hat.

My cousin Chris with his "new" hat. He's the oldest grandchild.
An awe-inspiring moment was when they brought out all of Grandpa's hats. Stacks of them. Lines of them. Straw cowboy hats, leather ones, wool fedoras, canvas sun-hats, a wooly sheepskin winter hat. Each of Grandpa's children AND grandchildren got to pick a hat. I carried mine home. I put it on while waiting in a Southwest Airlines boarding line at the request of the gentleman in front of me. Trying to tell the story, I got a little teary and couldn't talk. I tucked it safely on top of my carry-on bag under the seat in front of me.
Most of us (3 cousins had already left) with our hats. I'm in the center.
These are big shoes & big hats to fill. I miss you, Grandpa!

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