Monday, April 05, 2010

A change of plans

Ed and I had made last minute plans to travel to Washington D.C. for three days to see the cherry blossoms! I've always wanted to go and, on the spur of the moment, we planned to. Hotel reservations made. Luggage packed. Other essentials ready. The pets provided for. Got to bed early Wed. night in expectation of leaving at 5:30 the next morning.

The phone rang at 3:20 in the night. It was Ed's sister. She called to tell us that his older brother, Paul, had passed away a few minutes prior to her call.

His health had been failing. He had several issues that just come with age, the doctor said. Paul was 81.

Of course, our plans changed. Thankfully, the hotel management was understanding and reimbursed the charges to our credit card. The luggage was unpacked. Things put away.

Paul was a quiet man. He had never married. He lived with his mother and helped her maintain the homeplace until her death at age 94. He continued to live there until he was no longer able to keep up with everything and the house was sold to Justin, Ed's nephew, who has really spruced the place up, with his new wife, Ashley, by his side.

Though losing a loved one is so difficult, it brings the family together and that is always such a precious time. I love to watch Ed interact with his sisters. :-) They always laugh and have a great time together. :-)

There were ten Cavinee children. Three older brothers, three older sisters, then Ed, and three younger sisters. Can you imagine being born in the middle of six sisters? Oh my. The stories they tell. And do they ever laugh! :-) They are all a joy to be around.

We all gathered at the little Methodist church fellowship hall afterward, where Ed had attended as a child. He showed me the pew where he used to sit.

An older couple, Jim and Maggie Barber, had stopped by their house one day and asked if any of the kids would like to go to Sunday School and Ed was the only one who said he would like to. So, they began picking up on Sunday mornings. He told me that he would get in the car and they always offered him a stick of Beeman's gum. :-) Precious memories.

It is such a beautiful little church nestled in the small village of Moxahala. The ladies had prepared a delicious array of food for the family to enjoy and indeed we did!

While the death of a loved one is always very difficult, to say the least....and I can't even imagine losing a always brings about good, too, it seems. We get to see friends and relatives that we don't see often. Precious memories are shared and savored. Promises to get together more often are made sincerely, though the busy-ness of life many times impedes those heartfelt plans.

Paul was buried in a beautiful little cemetery in Oakfield, where many of the Cavinee descendants are interred. It is situated on a hillside and was a beautiful sight on Saturday afternoon. Though there were flowers on the different gravesites, fresh spring flowers and newly vibrant green grass blanketed the ground.

The only negative was that the wind about blew us off of that hillside. Literally. Whew!! :-)

Something a bit comical: A frail little of the military veterans....was standing at the corner of the tent, holding this humongous American flag which was attached to a pole and the wind was giving this little man a run for his money! I thought for sure that a big wind was going to take him and that flag off into the wild blue yonder before it was all over with but finally another gentleman stepped up to help him hold the flag through the remainder of the service. :-) Thankfully.

Below is a picture of Ed and his brothers and sisters. His oldest sister, Ruth, lives in Alabama and because her husband is not well, has not been able to make the trip home for some time.
Paul is sitting in the chair. This is such a good picture of him and we are all the more thankful now that we have it.

The Quiet Man

He is not one who does yearn for renown,
And he never will be the toast of the town,
The quiet achiever in his own quiet way,
Of himself he never has much for to say.

The quiet man he is happy in his life,
He takes care of his own, never stirs up strife,
He rise at dawn to go to work every day,
And he is one who earns his every pay.

A paid member of the local football club,
And on saturday evening at the local pub,
He joins his mates for an hour or two of cheer,
And he does enjoy a good laugh and a beer.

A family man and quite a gentle soul,
And he has his ego well under control,
A good friend to have those who know him will say,
And to help others out he goes out of his way.

A man who does laugh loudly at a good joke,
And a hard working person and quite a good bloke,
He never does yearn for great wealth and fame,
And to him all are equal and all are the same.

~Francis Duggan


Don Ryan said...

So sorry for your loss. Pass along our condolences.

Barbara H. said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Though we know our loves ones who know the Lord are in heaven, we still miss being able to talk with them and be with them.

I know what you mean about funerals bringing so much good as well. I missed the first couple of family funerals as a young wife with little ones -- I told myself my loved one who had died wasn't really there and wouldn't mind, and everyone else would understand -- but I so wish I had gone now despite the difficulty of getting little ones together for a sudden trip like that. I love the camaraderie, fellowship, shared stories and memories, etc. during that time.

Stephani said...

I'm sorry for you loss Jewel. I know these days are tough for you family. You're in my thoughts.

Jewel said...

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts, Don, Barbara, and Stephani. It means so much.

Jewel said...

I'll be sure and let Ed read your comments.

Theresa said...

Oh, Jewel, I'm so sorry for your loss. Please, give Ed my sympathy! I loved the poem.

Sir Nottaguy-Imadad said...

So sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one is never easy.

Joyce said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure losing a sibling is especially hard.

Thinking of you...take care!

Sweet Tea said...

Gentle words for a gentle man.
I'm sorry for your loss but happy you have so many wonderful memories.

Jewel said...

Thank you, Sir, Theresa, Joyce and Sweet Tea for your kindness and thoughts. I've made sure that Ed reads them and he does appreciate your concern so much. ((HUGS))

Stace said...

I'm so sorry for your loss :( He sounds like a wonderful man. Take care; I hope Ed is coping alright.

Nel said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Tell Ed I am thinking about him! My hubby lost his oldest sis last week. My prayers are with all of the family!
I hope you can manage that little getaway at a later date. I was getting excited for you while reading. But plans do get changed sometimes.

until next time... nel

Angie's Ad Lib said...


Thank you for your sweet, encouraging words on my blog. It means a lot. Although I want to have fun on my blog, I really want to share my heart which is often introspective. I'd just like to share some "substance," sometimes, if you know what I mean.

I'm so sorry for your loss. My grandmother who passed in Nov. came from a large family too so I can just imagine the brothers and sisters sitting together laughing and telling stories. There's something very comforting in that!

I'm sorry you and Ed missed coming to see the cherry blossoms. We didn't even make it downtown this year; we've been so busy! I hope you'll be able to make it next year!

BTW, I love your blog background. It's very nice.


Jewel said...

Hi Stace, Angie and Nel...thank you so much for your kind words, thoughts and prayers for Ed. I'm making sure he reads everyone's condolences. ((HUGS))