Funerals are the weirdest thing. On the one hand, there is so much sadness and heartache. And on the other hand, they are such a warm family time with lots of love and hugs and fellowship. And it's all wrapped up into one big package. That's what we have been experiencing over the past few days.
We flew to Mississippi on Wednesday morning to attend the funeral of Steve's cousin Cynthia. She died suddenly last week of cardiac arrest. When we got here, we went straight to a luncheon given in her honor at the governor's mansion in Jackson. Cynthia's daughter Jackye is married to Governor Haley Barbour's son, Reeves. There was so much family there and it was very nice for them to host us. We were able to sit and talk and catch up with everyone. We even got to go up to the Bilbo room. This room has some furniture that was owned by Governor Theodore Bilbo. He served as Mississippi's governor twice and he is Steve's great-great uncle. Anyway...there was a lot of history there so it was interesting.
The next few days were filled with the visitation and the memorial service and lots of people offering condolences and tons of food and flowers. Here we are at the funeral home for the visitation. The family stood in line for over three solid hours greeting more than 750 friends. They are loved!
We have been eating like pigs...shrimp, catfish, biscuits and tomato gravy, chicken and dumplings...all that good Mississippi food. And we have had lots of family time to reminisce and swap funny and touching stories about Cynthia and how much we all loved her and are going to miss her.
It has been the best of times and the worst of times.