- Drive to NY - 9.5 hours, Note: weekdays no traffic
- Grandpa's family service - I gave the eulogy, no dry eyes
- Funeral - very sad
- Day I left NY - straightened flowers at cemetery, drove back
- Drive to VA - 10.5 hours, Kelly's right about DC at 3:3o pm
I got back late last night after picking up the Solomonster from friend Wayne. He really came through in a pinch. I am very blessed to have a buddy like Wayne in my life - thank you Man!!
The eulogy was difficult to give, but it was something I had to do for my own peace of mind. I wasn't sure if I would get the chance. The Family service was scheduled short. I sat in the back because I went in late trying to get up the nerve to pay my respects. The silence was deafening and I couldn't take it. So, rather than just go up and say my peace, I went to my mother. I knelt before her and asked her permission to say a few words. Actually the words I spoke were all from my grandfather. I had asked him what he was most proud of in life. I had expected a very curt response. But the man with the thick (actually thin) skin surprised me by saying that he was most proud of each of his children. I shared a brief synopsis of what he said about each of his five children. My Uncle, the unemotional powerhouse, burst out in tears. So, that's when I sorta lost it too, but gathered my composure. I also shared what my grandfather said was his biggest regret. Dumbfounded, my grandfather would only change one thing about his life; he would have played with each of his children more. He had deliberately stopped playing with his children around the age of 12, and began treating them like young adults in firm manner. He wished that he had not done that. Each of his children nodded their heads in agreement.
The first disclosure was a bit foreign to my mother and her siblings but was understood. They had just not been accustomed to hearing compassionate references from their father. It was my honor to be able to relay that message to them. The joke when visiting my grandfather was not to upset him. Which I did often with my "invasive" questions. But I was able to find the core of my grandfather that my other kin had failed to realize. I could not in good conscious let his memory rest without at least of bit of his soul being exposed. The later message sealed my message as truth for them, as they all could identify with the abandonment of their childhood.
I left Saratoga Springs, NY with tears in my eyes, but a wicked smirk in my smile.
Earl Parker Duell, may you rest in peace. Your loving grandson.