It was a very sweet funeral service. Dick's five children gave funny and thoughtful speeches and two of his grandchildren spoke. As one of his son said, "Everyone assumes a great man is a president or an important person but my dad was a great man. He never said a bad word about anyone. He gave his love completely. He told us to always do our best and he meant it. He took care of a lot of people."
I was one of those people. As they spoke, I grew teary as this was the Dick I knew. As his "adopted daughter," he would call if I was not at rehab. He would check in if he had something to tell me. He would feed me along with a huge number of other people.
It was a rough funeral in one way - the realization of the finality of losing a dear, sweet friend - but in another, it was comforting to being able to say goodbye in a room filled with people who loved him as much as I did. We were all there: his Out-To-Lunch-Bunch buddies, family and friends.
I spent some time before, during and after the services talking with two of his grandchildren. These two kids called their grandfather over a month ago and invited him to lunch at his favorite place. They picked him up, they paid the bill and he was so touched that they wanted to spend time with him. I wanted them to know how deeply appreciative he was that they took the time to be with him. Later, their mom thanked me for spending so much time talking with her children. By the way, the youngest who is a junior in high school, wants to be a rocket scientist. And she will, that I have no doubt.
After the ceremony, I felt a hand on my arm. It was Allyson, the retired RN from the rehab program who I had not seen in a couple of years. We talked. And talked. Sherman did not come to the ceremony as his breathing had grately degraded so she was going to check in with him. Her husband and Michael were also talking. Turns out they know the same people and had a lot in common. Bottom line, we were the last people to leave!
I will miss him every Tuesday when Sherman and I sit in the lobby of the rehab gym. I will notice he is no longer with us when a pretty girl walks by and Dick's voice is not there to boom out, "Hello! My name's Dick! What's yours?" I will notice that his laugh does not ring out down the hallways nor that I am not greeted with a huge hug. My world is not as fun without him in it. I will deeply miss him.