Well, Punka's services were held today. They did a Catholic mass as he and my Nonnie (grandma) were devout Catholics and an internment. Nonnie had visitation held at the church before the Mass because of the number of elderly people and travel involved...it was just easier on us. Everything was very beautiful...they had me do a eulogy at the internment and they had me play a solo after communion. He was a WWII vet and had the Honor Guard at the internment, which I think he would have wanted and I think it would have made him proud.
We went through our favorite memories of him, and I'll mention a few so you can get an idea of how great he was:
-He used to switch the first letters of words around, so that Root Beer was Boot Reer, etc. We were driving down the street one day and he was doing it...Doffice Epot, Pominoe's Dizza...then we passed Fudrucker's
He knew not what he did until it was too late.
-He would set a place at the table for my Bear-Bear, who was my teddy bear/imaginary friend/I didn't go anywhere without him. He'd wedge Bear Bear inso his head was up at table level and pour Bear Bear his own sippy cup.
-He told my cousins and I that there was a man who lived in the fridge named Yahootie who turned the light on and off, and then he'd open and close the fridge with us in order to get a glimpse of Yahootie.
-He would show up with his cameras at everything...school dance pictures, band concerts, and just my house. He took pictures of me with my American Girl dolls, my Beanie Babies...and he made a video of me for "Sparkle Week" in 2nd grade. All the other kids had posters that their parents made, but I had a VIDEO!!!!
-he would call just to see how me, the cats and flute were doing.
-He was telling his nurses about his home, his kids and his Grandkids until the day he died. Every time we visited him in the 3 weeks he was in the nursing home, he introduced us al individually to his RN's and CNA's.
Thank you for all of your thoughts. It's no tragedy when a man born in 1919 passes away in his sleep after a long, full life, but it doesn't make me miss my Punka any less. My life will a little less full without him.