Sunday, April 10, 2011

Funeral Photos

My two beautiful daughters!  They were such a big help with everything.  Abbey was my traveling companion and comforter whenever the tears would come and Kristy, along with Jared, brought her busy family from Colorado, and sang beautifully for the funeral program.  I've never seen her play and sing at the same time with a microphone in a performance, but it was Grandpa's request and she fulfilled it.  Thanks again, Kristy and Jared.

Ben, Mary, and this Sweet Pea were a HUGE help.  S.P. let me cuddle her and sing to her anytime I was feeling down.  Mary made lots of food, ran errands with me, and played chauffeur.  Ben was my rock, as usual, and even stood by me at the graveside service.  Sometimes it's the little things that mean the most.  Thanks to all my kids and grandkids for being there for the little and big things.

Thomas and Kimball were very reverent through the whole funeral and seemed to understand what was going on.  (I guess they have been to their fair share of funerals recently.)  The expressions on their faces were pure and sweet as they looked at Grandpa.  They love him so and might be the only grandchildren of mine who will remember him.

My favorite part of the viewing was when my sweet grandsons unpacked their backpack, spread out their books and themselves on the floor, and started reading away.  It didn't matter that it was right in front of Grandpa's casket.  Grandpa Giggey was probably so happy to see them that comfortable.  Jared snatched the boys and the books away before I could capture the moment, so the picture of Thomas reading in the foyer will have to give you an idea of the scene.
My mother-in-law Donna and sister-in-law Marcell came to the services.  It was good to have them there.  This granddaughter had a lot to say to Grandma Kearney.
My brother Mark was so poised and wonderful through everything.  He was a great help to my mom and his funeral talk was perfect to end the family part of the services.  His time serving as a bishop and working as an insurance agent has really given him amazing experiences and helped him handle this with such dignity, reverence, and expertise.  The picture below shows the display that my step sister Renae made and the hand drawn pictures are by Mark when he was about ten or eleven years old (Elmer loves fishing, Elmer loves Mom, Elmer loves to hunt, Elmer loves to dance).

I've never been a fan of viewings and looking at someone's body after they have died, but my dad looked peaceful.  He had the perfect Elmer smirk on his lips and his hair was as unruly as ever.  I tried to smooth it down but it wouldn't cooperate - that is about the only rebellious part of Dad.

Here my mom's sister Aunt Judie offers Randy her condolences and love.

My brother Dan and his wife Mary have had a rough time the past few years and have been trying to move to the U.S.  Unfortunately Mary, who is Filipina, didn't get to the U.S. until she got a special visa from Senator Orrin Hatch's office to attend Dad's funeral.  She might not have met Dad in this life but we think he had a hand in getting her to Utah for this farewell.

Isn't Abbey so grown-up and so beautiful?!  She loves Grandpa so much and really didn't get to know him in his prime like Kristy and Ben did.  But her compassionate heart always reminded us to pray for him and think of him.

 Here are Elmer's remaining children, my step siblings:  Linda, Rick, and Renae.  Dennis and Sandra passed away years ago.

My mom was so much stronger through this whole day than I ever predicted.  Her irreverent side surfaced for a brief moment when the bishop was trying to get everyone's attention for the family prayer.  People couldn't hear him so my mom pulled out her key chain and blew her whistle with one short blow.  Shocked, I asked her why she did that.  "Oh, I was trying to get everyone's attention," she explained.  When I told her the bishop would take care of that she said, "I was just playing a joke." Now I bet you haven't heard of anyone doing that before! 

When the casket was being rolled from the Relief Society room to the chapel Mom hesitated and I jumped to her side.  She said she was waiting for Dad to walk with her.  I think he was there in spirit.  It was difficult for her to see her husband this way, but she enjoyed the celebration of his life very much.  She is going to have to find things to do now that she isn't a full-time caregiver.

Mark's son Carson is such a cutie.

Mom's cousins came to pay their respects.  Some came from as far away as California.

My real dad's brother, sister, and my step mom were there representing the Drawes.  Thank you!

There were a lot of people in attendance.

My brother Randy and his wife Janie were such good sports with Abbey and me invading them on such short notice.  They have been staying in our home in Bountiful while transistioning their move to Utah from New Mexico.  Randy has done some beautiful remodeling on our home for us and it is looking so wonderful.  Thanks, Randy and Janie for being so patient with us and making our stay so enjoyable with all the food and fun.  I think Uncle Randy stole my grandson's hearts with his bouncy castle up in our backyard.

I think my sister Yvonna was thrilled with the "party" that descended on the cemetary.  I felt her close all that day and in to the next week.  I think she was trying to reassure us that she was taking good care of Dad and talking his ears off, as usual.

My dearest friend Lori came and supported me.  When she's around, everything is okay.

It's difficult to steal a kiss from Moving Target Thomas!

Mom arranged for this sweet sister from her ward to play the bagpipes.  It was so touching to hear "Amazing Grace" from the bagpipes.

My Uncle Roland joined the VFW Honor Guard Volunteers.  It was a total surprise and choked me up.  And if you are wondering, yes, that is his original uniform!  *Since publication, I found out that I was misinformed - not the original.

21 Gun Salute

Taps being played

"On behalf of a grateful nation . . . " Another heroic World War II veteran has gone to heaven.

Aunt Thelma (Mom's sister) and her soldier sweetheart Uncle Roland

America is a sacred place.

Two of Randy's daughters and a grandson:  Chelsea, her son Alex, and Noelle

Noelle's son Cody, Keegan (Randy's youngest son), Noelle, and Keegan's son Dallon

Some of my step brother Rick's family

Kristy's two month old Little Millie gave Great Grandma and Grandma the best smiles of the day.

Thanks, everyone for your support, love, prayers, and help through this sad time.  I love you all.


Amber said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I wish I could give you a hug. Even with our eternal perspective it doesn't make things completely easy. On the bright side you have a beautiful family and that is the most awesome color of blue I have ever seen on a coffin...I hope that isn't too irreverent. I really admire it. He must have been a fascinating man.

terahreu said...

That is a lovely tribute to your dad. Thanks for allowing us to have a glimpse of his life and yours. It looks like you were surrounded by a lot of love and companionship. I was thinking of you a lot, even though I was unable to help you out! Thanks for sharing.