Monday, February 6, 2012

1 Week

_MG_4012.jpgIt's been one week since Luke's funeral. We spent more time in South Dakota than we first anticipated and it was wonderful. This photo above is was taken while we were driving to Luke's internment. Funerals in South Dakota are slightly different than other funerals I have attended. Sunday evening there was a prayer service. We heard that the funeral home was filled with nearly 400 people. Unfortunately we were still driving and couldn't make it. We arrived around 12:30am. It was a wild night.
_MG_4015.jpgMonday morning was tough. It was incredibly difficult for many of us to make it through the funeral. It was estimated that there were also about 400 people at the funeral, most of which had not attended the prayer service the night before. Now, directly after the funeral we headed to the cemetery for the internment. We weren't in the back of the procession, believe it or not. If you can make out the lights from the police escort you can see the front of the procession. The love and respect this community has for Rick and Katie and the family is incredible. In the country, or maybe just South Dakota, it's common to see cars pull over to the side of the road out of respect. These people that pulled over waited and waited a long time because this procession was so long. I've never been part of a procession this long. 
_MG_4032.jpgAfter the internment everyone headed back to chuch, without the police escort, for a wonderful meal. I really didn't have my camera out as much and I normally do. Can you believe it? This is Grandma Denise and little Lydia. 
_MG_4037.jpgWhen I say that Rick and Katie are so loved I mean it. We had a hotel room reserved then got a phone call from Rick. Their next door neighbor had recently moved and their house was on the market. After hearing about Luke they took their house off the market, so Rick and Katie's families could use their home. Unbelieveable! Since the house was unfurnished when word got out neighbors began piling blankets, pillows, and air mattresses in the house. Our family was able to stay in a 5 bedroom home instead of a tiny hotel room right next door to Rick and Katie. It worked out perfectly. Because of this we were able to stay an extra day after everyone else had left. I also have to mention that a neighbor also offered to watch our children during the funeral. We were able to leave Elizabeth and Anna with her, along with some other cousins and not have to worry about  them. It was such a nice gesture and we are so thankful.
RKJJ.jpgDenise was kind enough to take a photo of Rick, Katie, Jared, and me. (Now she wants my camera. Maybe the family can all pool togeher for her birthday?) We had a such a great time sharing stories about Luke I didn't want to leave. Actually, I think I could have stayed longer and just listened to all of the great stories that were shared.
_MG_4049.jpgThe little girls had fun playing in Lydia's kitchen while we older folk got to visit.
_MG_4076.jpgWe then hit the road and headed north to visit more family.
_MG_4080.jpgAs we pulled into Joel and Dawn's house the sun was setting.
_MG_4084.jpgDenise, I have to say that you are right when you say that the sunsets in South Dakota are beautiful. They're one of a kind. (There, Dawn. Happy now? I posted something today.)


Adriane said...

People may make fun of Midwesterners and farm people, but I love that we still small-town practices like pulling over for the funeral procession. We're praying for you. I hope you know that.

Melanie said...

I live in SD and it's as common as farmland around here to see people pull over for the funeral procession. I can't imagine people not doing it.

Jan, I attend church with John and Jodi. Luke's death is a tragedy for the entire family. Know that there are many here praying for all of you.

JAN said...

Thanks, Melanie. I think I knew you attend the same church as John and Jodi? It sort of rings a bell, I think.

Laura Melius said...

Thank you for this post, Jan.