I was debating what image to use for today’s entry.  I had a few pictures from today, some of a crowd of family at the home of Bobby and Patsy Greene, some of Bobby’s casket under a tent in the cemetery after the ceremony, some of Milly playing with a boy she’d met (who was twice her age, a great-nephew of Bobby’s on the Greene side).  But I decided to use the same image I used for the day we found out that he had died.  Jonathan, Bobby’s oldest grandson, told me that he’d read my entry about his grandfather the other day and asked where I’d gotten the picture.  I told him it was one that I took a few years ago and asked if he liked it.  He said he did, and showed me that he had put it on his phone.  I thought it was the most fitting.

The day started with me waking up a little after 7:00.  I talked with Mom and Dad and Aunt Reggie (who had also spent the night at my parents’ hosue) a bit then decided I’d go to church with my dad.  I think he enjoyed me going, and I enjoyed going with him.  We talked basketball on the way there and I talked to a few people I haven’t seen in years.  A lot of the responses of the Catholic mass had recently been changed though, which threw me.  It was obviously still very new because it threw a lot of other people too.

When we got back around 10:00 Amanda told me that Milly had just gotten up a few minutes before (though I had heard her before I took my shower).  She and Karen were all packed up so I got Milly ready after I ate some eggs, bacon and toast.  We said out goodbyes and headed to Oxford following the GPS around 10:45.  Considering that we were planning on leaving at 10:30 and how much Karen likes to talk, I thought that was decent timing.

The trip took 45 minutes, whereas I expected it would be about 30, but it’s not like we were late to the family get-together before the funeral.  We had plenty of time to talk to everyone and mingle and eat.  Milly spent most of her time playing with Anna Hawkins.  Michael, Ryan and I talked about yesterday’s basketball game.  We all caught up with the people that we usually only see around Labor Day and Christmas.

When we first got there Michael tried to convince Amanda that he’d accidentally left her boots outside of our house, but she knew he was lying because Cyra, who was staying at our house, had already told Amanda that Michael had originally picked up the wrong boots.  Instead of her dressy black boots he had picked up my well-worn brown boots.  It’s pretty funny to think he’d mistake those for hers.

The funeral service for Bobby was at 2:00 and between the service, the burial ceremony and some graveside mingling afterwards, it was all done around 4:00.  The service was very nice.  There was preaching and remembering and some music.  As I said a few days ago, I didn’t know Bobby all that well, but the service left me wishing I had known him better.  He had been in the Army, so they played Taps and presented a flag to Patsy, though there was no three-volley salute (which, I just read, is different from a 21-gun salute, which is done with artillery).

The most emotional times of the day for me were when the preacher was talking about Kim and how part of Bobby had died with her, and I could see that Anna Hawkins, a few rows up at the front, was upset; the other was when the flag was presented to Patsy by her nephew, who is in the Army.  I’m sure it was an honor for him to be able to do that.

Milly was absolutely great today.  She slept in later than usual, which I’m sure helped, but again she had no nap today.  We had thought about leaving her at my parents’ house and going to pick her up after everything, but we didn’t want to drive to Oxford from Rougemont, back west to Rougemont and then all the way back to Wilmington (at North Carolina’s southeastern tip).  We chanced it and are glad that we did.

She was occupied with eating Goldfish or playing with a Barbie or Ming Ming (the stuffed duck formerly called Quack, until her Wonder Pets obsession began).  She said something out loud after Hannah and Kirsten finished playing their violins, but I couldn’t tell what it was.  After the burial ceremony she even told her Paw Paw “Shh!” and put her finger on his mouth when he said something to her, as she didn’t realize we could talk above a whisper again.

After everything was over, as I mentioned before, she was playing with a five-year-old boy.  They were walking all over the cemetery, but they were being good.  I talked with the kid’s grandpa a bit while we watched them play.

I took a look around the cemetery myself a bit.  The church, Dexter Baptist, had been built in 1906 and apparently there were Greenes and Greens there from the start.  It seemed like at least a third of the tombs were Green(e)s.  I think the oldest birth date I saw on a theirs was from 1834 or 1836, something like that.  I was given a little of their history by one of Bobby’s nieces on the Greene side.

A lot of the family went back to Patsy’s afterwards, but Amanda, Milly and I, along with Michael, headed on back to Wilmington.  The GPS took us back west a little ways and through some traffic caused by a merging lane and idiots trying to get around all the cars who had already lined up, then down 70 to Brier Creek where Amanda and I used to go out to eat pretty often when we lived in Raleigh.  We stopped for some subs there then hopped 540 to 40 and came on home.  Milly fell asleep for about the last half hour of the ride, but she woke up just before we got home.

Milly showed Michael our Christmas lights then he headed on home.  We walked across the street so Milly could look at Bonnie’s Christmas lights, which she put up in part because Milly chided her on not having any up last week.  Milly was in bed shortly after that, then Amanda and I watched an episode of House before she went to bed too.

Zach Dotsey