Monday, October 17, 2005

Strength and far-sightedness

My youngest brother, codename: Gogo and his family were in Ft. Worth this weekend. My sister-in-law's father passed away last week in Houston and was interred in Fort Worth on Saturday afternoon. Stomps With Foot and I made the trip over from Dallas to give our last respects to Dr. Dan. We had only met him a couple of times, weren't close to him, but he was dearly loved by all his family.

When we arrived at the funeral home, SWF and I were early, so we found a shade tree to park under and waited. When the family arrived, I couldn't see my brother so I called his cell phone. He was inside, trying to find the minister who would say the prayers over the coffin. Alas and alack, no minister. Wires got crossed somewhere and he was fit to be tied. He was crawling up and down the back of he funeral home representatives (God Bless them) and we were all at the gravesite.

Calls were made, pacing ensued. I took my brother aside and suggested that the worst-case scenario wasn't bad at all. No minister, no problem. Just have everyone who wants to speak about their dad/ex-husbands (yes, there were two ex-wives), stand by the coffin and say what is on their minds, and close with the Lord's Prayer.

And so they did … it was beautiful. In fact, a red-winged hawk flew very close to the coffin, from left to right. He swooped low over the graves and then pulled up and disappeared into the sky. Everyone immediately glommed onto that sight and translated it as his spirit leaving the area for heaven. Wow. What a thing to behold. It was more than beautiful, it was awe-inspiring. Dr. Dan would've loved the graveside service. Everyone said their piece and made their peace with their departed loved-one. Stories were imparted, prayers were said and it was a wonderful thing to behold.

In Native-American lore, the hawk represents strength and far-sightedness. May the strength of the hawk, renew the spirits of those who witnessed this magnificently-timed event. I know it was his spirit, not a coincidental event.