The WBC people had a permit to gather a couple blocks from the church where the funeral was being held. Even still, they tried their damnest to be heard all over town. Rumor went through my crowd that there had been WBC peoples arrested.
I don't think they timed it this way, but when the processional was leaving the church and headed to the grave site, another church's bells chimed the noon time hymn. It was touching . . . the perfectly blue sky, trees just starting to turn, thousands of people in a reverent hush, with bells tolling. As the limo transporting the family passed, there was a young woman in the back seat dabbing at tears and someone near me said "that's Tracy" (the widow).
I'm torn between being concerned that the family might think that the death of their beloved became a spectacle and hoping that they saw the outpouring of support. As one woman explained to her friends, within my ear shot, "I almost didn't come today because I am sick, but then, I thought she doesn't have any choice about being here."
As I watched the widow being driven away, I wondered if she experienced the same kind of isolation I've been feeling lately? I hope with the repeal of DADT, she has experienced the same respect and assistance het widows and widowers receive.
On the drive home, I missed the Old Woman even more. There was a time when I would have discussed this event with her. Even though it has been some time since I could really tell her about what was going on in the world, and discuss it with her, I realized today how much I miss it. There was a time when all the interesting or good things that cropped up, she was the first person I'd call. For the last couple of years, the immediacy of her needs replaced my realization I'd lost something so precious. She would have been proud of me for going. She raised me right.