Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Veterans Day and Two Funerals

While many of us got the chance to reflect, on our veterans yesterday, I attended two funerals, both were the funerals of veterans, so I guess it seemed fitting on to bury them on veterans day.  Being that there were rules when I started this year and I said I would not wear dresses to weddings or funerals I didnt want to rule it out as this journey has taken me on a ride.  I checked with both families and they asked me to be repectful which I assured them I would be.  So I wore a floral dress that went to mid calf that I had worn to church a few times.  I left the house around 8:30

The first funeral took place at 10am,  Jake he is the younger brother of one of my childhood friends Chris. Jake died at the young age of 29.  He had spent 8 years in the army.  Upon returning he dealt with alcoholism which is unfortunately what ended up taking his life.  He left behind a wife and 2 children.

I arrived at the church around 9:30 spoke with Chris and his family, they were courteous I was trying to stay out of they way and let them grieve because it was about them.  They already knew I wore dresses so they were OK with me wearing them.  They asked me if I would not mind being a paul bearer.  I told them I would be honored and asked if I could stand in the middle as I didnt want to draw to much attention to myself and take away from while we are here.  His wife and mother thought Jake would get a kick out of me carrying him wearing a dress and Jakes wife Kristen thought it could be a possitive memory for they 4 year old girl that you can be strong and pretty.  I was so humbled I ended up carrying him.

 I ended up getting away from Jakes funeral about 1 and had a second funeral about 1 hour away I had to be at by 3pm. 

The second funeral was for my grandfathers friend Ed.  Ed and my grandfather were in the Marine Corp 28 years respectively.  They fought in WWll Korea and Vietnam.  Both got in 1942 and both got out in 1970.  Ed was able to beat the Germans, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese unfortunately he lost his battle with Pneunomia.   My grandfather had passed away 15 years earlier otherwise he would have been there himself unfortunately I went there in his sted.  I am a firm believer that greatness is not in about making presense known it is more about making your absence felt.  Based on Eds absense and the people at his funeral it is safe to say he was a great man.  I paid my respects to his children and sat near the back and watched people pay him a tribute.  I thought about going up there but i didnt want the funeral to be about me I wanted to be about Ed.  So I sat in back listen. 

His daughter Grace asked me to come up and share some stories.  So went up there and told this story about how Ed and his wife Margie met and My grandparents met.  My grandpa and Ed were best friends and Ed was dating my grandma and My grandpa was dating Margie.  So they ended up going on a double date together and Margie was like heah John tell me about Ed.  my grandpa was like Eds the best, so she was like I think  I smitten with him and Ed was smitted with her they broke up with my grandparents and started dating each other.  The rest was 65 years in making.  We met over at Graces house after and chatted alittle bit.  I headed home alittle late.

I was saddened to have to go the two funerals on veterans day however, I was honored to be asked to be part of them

A meeting in Wichita

With the ebola outbreak going on it is amazing to me that my job finally decided to take some proactive steps.  So we created a proactive plan decrease the likilihood of an incidence of ebola in Oklahoma.  We put forth a strategic response plan.  However, I find that the state governments are alot like the federal government in that they close the barn doors after the cattle are out.   So work with other state agencies and my boss asked to go up to Wichita on Monday to present on our measures.  I asked what time the meeting was she advised 8:30AM

I was like, heah can I teleconference in, he stated we want to there so I the advised that it took 2 hours to get there from my house.  So I would have to be up by 4:30 to leave the house by 6:30.  He asked how long it takes me to get ready I told him about 1 hour.  He asked me how long it would take back when I was still wearing pants to work.  I advised I would shave and shower the night before so it took like 20 minutes to get ready. 

I was unsure what the weather was going to do.  So while I wore a knee length wrap dress I brought a skirt and blouse with me.  The wind was gusting like crazy at 6:00 AM as I was leaving.  The wind was cod as ice on my legs when though I was wearing tights I was still freezing.  On my way up I stopped for gas, it was a Phillips 66 station going in the clerk was kind she was like you must be freezing I assured her I was.  She asked me where I was going I told her about my meeting in Wichita and bought a cup of coffee some gas and away I went. 

I got up to the location where they are having the meeting right at 8AM which means I was glad the meeting was starting till 8:30.  I went in a few of the folks already knew me and my wardrobe change this year a few more were surprised by it.  We chatted alittle bit they asked me if I was going to change my genders I was pretty sure not at this time I was happy with me.  But now I got to be happy while wearing a dress.