I have been at a loss for words recently...
As you know, my grandfather, "Da" passed away Friday, October 22, 2010 peacefully in my mother's home, with his family surrounding him. His funeral was held the following Monday. We went a little on the nontraditional side with the eulogy. Instead of having a friend of the family or his priest speak to his life and character, we decided that we should do it. He was so funny and there were so many stories to try to condense. We joked that most of the stories were not fit for the general public :). I did the introduction.... which went something like this:
Jim, Sonny Boy, Max, Mr. Reid, Daddy: My grandfather, James Max Reid, had many names, but I named him "Da"... actually, I was the first grandchild and he claimed the first sound out of my mouth as his name. He was a man of confidence, strong will, pride and independence. This is a man who rode a horse for transportation until after he came home from the Navy. It still impressed me how quick his mind was. My Da was able to recall stories from his childhood with amazing detail like how he felt when his daddy tried to take him flying for the first time in his crop dusting plane but his mother was screaming and chasing the plane down the runway until his Dad had to stop and put him out to calm her and then in the next breath tell you how much the DOW was up or down for the day because he had been watching CNBC since he woke up. He would ask to be reminded if we had ordered at the restaurant but at the same time he could discuss global ramifications of current economics and details of political debates. Can you imagine how much he saw come and go in 84 years? So much of it he didn't understand but thought we were brilliant because we did, like the information I looked up for him on the internet, my Mom helping him shop for a fedora on ebay, or navigating a route on our smart phones. He thought everything we did was great and he was always quick to encourage, thank or give a compliment: "Baby, that was the best meal I ever had", "Thank you, Baby", "You are so smart", "You look so pretty today". He loved to be surrounded by family and friends listening to and telling stories. In his last hours with us, that's just what we did... we gathered around him sharing our stories, hoping he could hear us. He heard new exploits of our youngest family members: Hugh, Pascal and Grace as well as the re-telling of well-worn family history through tears, laughter and prayers until he was finally at peace. I got to see him enjoy the best love this world had to offer and to know that in the next instant he was welcomed into heaven to receive the perfect love of his savior Jesus Christ and have a reunion with his beloved wife and son and he missed so badly. What an honor to be a part of that. We can't thank God enough for how good He has been to us.
Others that spoke were Bill (brother-in-law), Bruce (son-in-law), Harrison (1st grandson), and my dad (son-in-law). It was beautiful, funny, sad, and overwhelming. Everyone did a fantastic job. The priest even commented that more funerals should be done in that way and that he really enjoyed getting to know him better.
On Monday, November 1st, my mother was told that her immediate supervisor and friend at work had been found in the trunk of her own car after she didn't report to work that morning. You can read the article in our local paper (Gadsden Times). I really have nothing to say but please be in prayer for my mother. I don't know how much more she can take.