Friday was the National Cemetary memorial service. This was a very hard day as we said our final good-byes and realized the reality of Eric's death.
Sitting in the office making final arrangements for his stone was not a happy occasion. It is amazing how detached people are in this business. I had a hard time keeping the "sorrows like sea billows" from rolling over me while they talked about what emblem I would like on his stone.
The service itself was very nice but not as personal as the memorial service we had had a few weeks earlier. At Eric's memorial service Taps was played live and Eric's Chief presented me with the flag. On Friday I knew none of the men of the color guard although one of the sweet moments was to see 80 and 90 year old men complete the 21 gun salute. Eric would have been honored by having these veterans a part of his service. He loved older people.
The highlight of the event was the prayer that was said by the chaplan. Just by his words you knew that this man was a God fearing man. As I write my thoughts and memories down on paper I am reminded again and again how God has placed godly men and women in my life at strategic times. There was a small group of close friends with us and as we all reflected later we realized that we all walked away with a sense of awe that the prayer was so authentic and not rehearsed. How fantastic it was to note that we still have the freedom of religion at a National cemetary while we fight for this same freedom in other parts of our government.
On a side note, I still have the prayer beeper and it continues to go off every couple of seconds. I surmise that the number of times this beeper has gone off is only a reflection of about a quarter of the people who are actually praying for me and my children. I can't thank you enough for your prayers and comments. The verses everyone has shared with me are being written down and I am hoping to memorize the majority of them to better help me reflect on His Word when life gets overwhelming.
Someone told me that I am walking down probably the hardest road that I will ever travel in this life. By God's mercy I had not seen it like that. The word picture that I have used often is that of God as a cloud protecting the Israelites in the wilderness. As I walk through this valley I am oblivious to so much around me because of that cloud of protection. I have my moments of deep anguish but after a few moments I am usually quieted down by a sense of peace. I am embracing the pain and moving forward with what God has for my life. I am going to talk more about that in my next post.
By the way, we lost count after 400,000 on the prayer beeper. Thank you ever so much for those who are calling in and for those who are just continuing to pray without calling in.