A lot of friends and family weren't able to make the service due to health reasons. Many of them are older, and have serious medical conditions. They aren't able to drive very far, and the trip to West Virginia is pretty far for a lot of them. For Dad and myself, the trip is 900 miles up and 900 miles back.
Not to mention the temperatures have been dropping to below freezing, and not everyone can handle such extreme temperature drops. Due to the weather West Virginia is experiencing this time of year, the roads can have rain, sleet, snow, and ice on them. The roads are better than they used to be years ago, but the twists and turns around the mountains can be very tricky to maneuver.
Even the people who couldn't or wouldn't drive can't book a flight this time of year. Think about it. It's the holiday season, and flights are booked solid until after the new year. So let's be honest, there is never a good time to pass away, but there were so many factors that made it very difficult to attend my Grandmother's funeral service during this time of year.
I know many friends and relatives wanted to attend, and couldn't. Believe me, no one is upset that they couldn't attend due to so many conditions. When I think of the people I would expect to be there, I have to remember that so many have passed away. It is a blessing and a curse. My Grandmother lived to 87 years of age, but she outlived so many of her friends and family.
The service was begun with an opening prayer by Pastor Lenny Romans. My Grandmother's obituary was then read. I was then asked to give my little talk. My cousin Crystal followed with a speech of her own. My cousin Melody then sang the full rendition of "Amazing Grace." Then Lonnie "Tommy to his friends" Scraggs gave a speech. Melody sang another song. To close out the service, Pastor Lenny Romans gave his speech. Overall, the service lasted about an hour and a half.
At Franklin Cemetery we gathered around where my Grandmother's casket would be buried. Pastor Lenny Romans gave a small speech. Afterwards, we were each able to take a rose from the arrangement that was placed on her coffin.
I wanted to have my speech/ eulogy/ little talk posted for those who weren't able to attend. That way, they can know what was said, and how I feel about my Grandmother. The following is what I spoke.
Hello. My name is Adrian Ray Long. Grandma Betty was simply, "Maw-maw" to me.
The truth is I wanted to give her the best. I wanted to do right by her. After all that she and my Grandfather have done for me, it was the least I could do. As I said in my speech, my Grandmother told me she wanted me to speak at her funeral back in 2011. I'll admit, I have thought many times about what I would say, and how I could get it right. My speech clocked in around ten minutes. Believe it or not, I actually, "cut the fat." I trimmed it down to best parts of what I had written. I honestly could have spoken for half an hour.
As I finish up this blog I will repeat what I said in my speech. I am sad, but I am not angry. I feel lucky to have had my Grandmother in my life as long as I had. In contrast, I am reminded about what my Grandmother said about being married to my Grandfather. It just wasn't enough time. When I digest this all through my head I can only think, "I am sad, and there just wasn't enough time to spend with my Grandmother."