We buried my father-in-law last week, a man I had met only a handful of times. It wasn’t due to any family tension or estrangement that I didn’t really know him. It was because he had been incapacitated by mental illness for the past 25 years. By the time I met and married his son, my father-in-law had been in full-time nursing care for over 6 years.
I snapped this picture when we arrived very early at the cemetery for the service so I guess the Behind the Scenes part is that you can’t see the funeral tent behind me and to my right. I was struck by the juxtaposition of the gravestones against the corn field against the windmills in the background. This is Wisconsin – there are corn fields everywhere – but I liked the way this one butted right up against the cemetery. Yes, people die and are buried, but the ones who are left need to eat, hence the corn. Life goes on, right there in the face of death.
And speaking of the service, it was conducted by a young female minister from the local Methodist Church who said some things that really struck to the heart of me, so much so that I’m still processing them. Also during the service she read some loving words put together by my husband, the youngest of three sons, about the legacy of his father. My man is not a writer by any means, but what he wrote for his father’s funeral was very heartfelt and meaningful and applies to so much of life. He said that he is choosing to remember the good things, the things his father did right in life, and that whatever else could be said of his dad, he did manage to raise three wonderful sons who are his true legacy.
I hope one day that my three daughters will be able to say that about me. That they choose to remember me for the good things I did and the things I did right.
And finally, this cemetery figures prominently in the history of my relationship with my husband. You see, this is not the first time we’ve been here together. We made a memorable trip here shortly after we met. But that’s a story for another day. 🙂
Today I’m joining up with the rowdy crowd over at www.crystalstine.me for our Behind the Scenes link-up, where we share the stories behind the pictures.