Friday, May 06, 2016

To Fresno, California to see my brother one last time

I flew out to Fresno last Monday. On Tuesday was the funeral for my older brother Don. After the funeral we all drove out to the graveside for the interment.

There was an honor guard of Vietnam Veterans on a motorcycle motorcade, a large contingent of Marine Corps Leagues folks and an official Marine honor guard to provide both the 21-gun salute and the flag ceremony. It was all capped off with a fly-by with the missing man formation. Powerful stuff that morning in St. Peter's Cemetery.

After we left the graveside everyone returned to the church for a lunch in the fellowship hall and there was plenty of lively reminiscing. That evening the family gathered at the home of Dirk and Jan (Tina's brother and sister-in-law). I eventually made my way back to my motel and to bed -- the next day was going to be a long one for me.

Wednesday morning I packed up, drove to the airport, dropped the car off and checked in for my flight to Dallas. I was back in Grand Rapids by midnight. A long day indeed but I needed to see Don one more time.

He was my Big Brother.

You should be so lucky.

Presentation of the flag to Tina

Lisa Soper making more lemonade

Mike Soper going through the line

Mackenzie Soper and Adam Soper

Dirk and Don's half-sister Janice

Adam Soper Tina Soper and Amanda Soper

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