The morning was shrouded in fog which gave it a quiet beauty. As we pulled into the cemetery, a group of mourners emerged from the mist to our left. I pointed to Mike and said, “Over there” and we made our way to the small group. Today was the day we’d join Don with Jan. The weather was fitting.
Mike and I joined their children and one grandchild to lay him to rest. As we waited, we reminisced. Stories of Don and stories of Jan. Laughter, tears and waiting. And waiting. And even more waiting. Where the heck was Don? Wasn’t the internment at 9? One daughter said she thought she remembered 9:30 and that number sort of tugged at my memory, too. But the sexton was there waiting as well, and the family hadn’t contacted him. The funeral director must have arranged for him to be here this morning.
After about twenty minutes, another daughter went over to speak with the sexton to see if he had any info. He called the funeral director who was still in another (very close) town and would be there shortly. There had been a mix-up on the calendar, but the delay gave us more time to remember, talk, weep and hug. Earlier, I had mentioned to Mike that I was out of tears. I was wrong and they fell freely. Again.
Turns out, Don was late for his own funeral. An irony since he was a very prompt and considerate man. But it is also funny and he’d appreciate the pun. The late Don Upp.
Rest in peace, Don. You are deeply missed.
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.