I hate funerals. Then again, does anyone like them? In the past 16 years I have not lived near my family in MA, so I have missed many of them. My focus has always been to travel to see people while they are still alive. Today, is the funeral of my favorite Aunt, Helen Marcus. I have so many fond memories of her. She and my Uncle Joe were Florida snowbirds and since I spent 5 years living in Florida, it was always a joy to sneak off and spend weekends with them. Uncle Joe (my dad’s brother) has already passed on and today I want to publicly say good-bye to Aunt Helen.

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a complete stranger, Omar McKnight, a 22 year old hero who died for our Country. As I sat in the all black church in Marrero, I was surrounded by such love and hope for the future. His family and friends all seemed to adore this your man who was the epitome of a role model, a hero. On the heels of the recent publicized senseless murder of a 39 year old woman from New Orleans named Wendy Byrne, which astonished the world when we realized the killers were 3 young teens 14 and 15 years old, you wonder what is wrong with the world. The Minister touched on the local youth of today having no purpose in life or hope as the problem. He encouraged them to find hope in God to give them a purpose because they are somebody, they are God’s children. He continually praised and thanked the men and women in the military during his sermon and his respect for them was admirable. Comforting, was his lesson that God had already planned when and why he needed Omar at this time.

Why did I attend a complete stranger’s funeral, yet miss the funeral of my favorite Aunt? Maybe there is a plan for me too. I’m not sure. But as someone who never cries, I wept as the 3 Blue Star Mothers who I attended the service with, did the most touching presentation. I wept for Aunt Helen, for Omar and his family and for all the men and women that have passed on too early while serving our Country.

The purpose of the Blue Star Mothers in attendance, was to present Mrs. McKnight with the Gold Star flag now that her son has passed. It was a ceremony to change her from the status of being a Blue Star Mother to becoming a Gold Star Mother. Maybe someday she will find comfort in that flag and knowing that 4 women who did not personally know her or her son, cared enough to be with her during this time.

Good-bye Omar and Aunt Helen. Thank you for all you did for the world during your time on Earth.

c/p at Hooah Wife

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3 Replies to “Saying Good-Bye”

  1. Greta,
    Thank you for your tribute to your Aunt Helen as well as the young man who did not get to stay on the earth for as long a time (90 yrs) as your Aunt. Our family will always miss your Aunt Helen who created so many wonderful memories for us to share always. Her love of cooking & her family feasts where we enjoyed the end results of this labor of love, her love of family, her incredible zest for living ( taking up weight lifting at 70 yo), & her devotion to your Uncle Joe will never be forgotten by all her friends & family. She was a brave, feisty, woman full of life & love of living. We will always miss her. I hope the family of the young man will treasure the impact he had on their family & the rest of the world, despite the fact he spent so short a time on this earth. Each person can be a treasure in their own way if they choose. Both of these individuals contributed to making the world a better place. We can be thankful they were here.
    Love you Greta,

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