Going to funerals

Carolyn Cary's picture

I sure have been to a lot of funerals in the past year. I guess when you become older than dirt, that happens.

One funeral was conducted by a preacher who loved to sing. Not only did he lead the congregation in song, but when he followed the deceased up the aisle, he was belting out a song with all he had. And yes, he was good at it.

At another funeral, the deceased for decades had always sat in the same seat. If you’re a church-goer, you know that the faithful will always sit in the same spot, and woe be to those who dare to occupy that spot.

At this funeral, a huge spray of red and white carnations was fashioned, at least three feet long, and placed in her spot. It probably remained there for days. I have a feeling it will be years before anyone new sits there.

While this individual was a longtime member at a Baptist church, she had been in the county for over five decades, and those present were half Baptist and half Methodist.

One service was for a Sunday School member. It has taken several weeks for the color to come back into the wife’s face, and I was glad to see a smile on her face Sunday. It had been a long, difficult year for her.

When it’s my time to head to that Head Historian in the sky, I will be buried with my parents in Akron, Ohio, my hometown.

C. J. Mowell seems to have taken to shipping people to their final resting place. I told him that if he didn’t personally drive me to Akron, I would come back and haunt him.

If folks want to have a memorial service for me, that’s fine with me. If not, that’s also fine.

I have instructed Shelby Travis and C.J. as to an engraved bench I would like placed in the Fayetteville City Cemetery. Shelby knows where it is to go.

I was 80 years old in December (good grief) and I expect to live another 10 years. It’s distressing enough that my baby has two in college.

When I came to Fayette County in 1966, there were 8,000 people in the entire county. Now there are 110,000 people. Whenever “that time” comes, I want you all to know, it’s been my privilege to have lived in Fayette County and contributed to it in various ways.

Although, I’m not looking forward to those five Union Civil War soldiers I have as ancestors. I imagine they’re going to have some questions about what I’ve written about in the last half century.

[Carolyn Cary is the official Fayette County historian and the editor of the county’s first compiled history, “The History of Fayette County,” published in 1977. She lives in Fayetteville.]