From Eagle Crest, OR – Dad’s favorite place

Before I start writing about today, let me back up a bit. I did finally get through most of the boxes in Dad’s garage last Thursday and then I started focusing on the memorial service. Saturday night, I was up all night working on the slide presentation because I was having technical difficulties. First I tried to do it as slides, but then it stopped letting me add any more after the 13th slide. I had to scrap that and try to set it up as moving slides. I was still working on it when Mom got up at 5:30 in the morning!

Sunday was the service, and all sorts of family and friends showed up. I had boxes there for certain family groups and the McCroskeys were especially interested in their box. There were Bibles from great-grandma Smith, Aunt Vera, Grandpa, Monner (our name for Grandma), and my Dad.

The service started with my nephew, Nate, playing It Is Well With My Soul.

The pastor gave a welcome and the opening prayer, and then I did a biography of Dad’s life with a slide presentation going on behind me. For the biography, I read the blog obituary that I had written after Dad died. My Uncle Doug shared some of his memories of working with Dad. He said that Dad was the smartest man he’d ever known, but he told about a few times when Dad did some funny things, like licking the end of a plug when the other end was plugged into the wall! The pastor preached on 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, a passage I had suggested to him because Dad’s body had been so weak and broken in the end:

“So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”

We sang Dad’s two favorite songs, “Abide With Me” and “John 3:16” to the tune of Silent Night. You have to start by singing John 3:16 twice where you usually start with “Silent night, Holy night”. Give it a try!

Then there was an open mic time for people to share their love for Dad. There was one disturbing comment made that ruined it for me, but God is working on me to try to count all the things that went right instead.

I went to bed right after dinner last night and, except for some time in the middle of the night when I was lying awake thinking about that comment, I slept through to this morning. We had a hard time getting on the road this morning because I had left my laptop at the church yesterday and Mark had left his coat at Mom’s. We finally headed out just before lunchtime and I kept falling asleep on the way here.

Before Dad died, we asked him where his favorite place in Oregon was, and he said, Eagle Crest. Dad and my stepmother, Sandy, had a timeshare here for years and Dad loved to invite guests to come with them and he’d show them the sights. I was here a couple of times with one or both of them. Mark and I decided to get a hotel room here tonight and sprinkle Dad’s ashes here.

Eagle Crest is a luxury resort that’s set above the Deschutes River. Mark and I walked down to the river with Tucson. As soon as we got down to the river, I found a private spot to release Dad. For some reason, a silly song came to my mind. It was one that I heard King Friday sing on Mister Roger’s Neighborhood many years ago. Instead of singing “Row, row, row your boat”, King Friday sang:

Propel, propel, propel your craft gently down liquid solution,

Ecstasy, ecstasy, ecstasy, ecstasy, existence is but an illusion!

Deschutes River

I sprinkled Dad’s ashes at the top of a rapid and watched him float downriver. It was so peaceful there I had a hard time breaking away.

Then Mark and I took the mile hike on the trail.

We started back up the hill and places to sit became welcome sights!
Tucson was looking mangy, so Mark had brought a brush and brushed her out.
The view at the top

By the time we got to the top, we were thirsty and hungry, so we decided to treat ourselves and go to the restaurant onsite.

This was before our food arrived and Mark was looking kind of pitiful!

One last thing: When I was going through Dad’s boxes, I found a couple of matching necklaces that I believe Dad got for Lauryn and me.

“To my Daughter: Always remember that your Dad Loves You. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know. Love, Dad”

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