I’m honored and blessed that I was able to be in Daddy’s presence part of yesterday afternoon in his final hours.  Honestly, it wasn’t a pleasant scene, but by the end of the day he breathed his last and went on to his reward.

The cemetery rises on a hill above the old church building.

Watching a loved one die is not high on my list of “things I enjoy doing,” but there really is something sacred in the process of life and death.  The same as we go into the delivery room with our wives at that beginning of life, so it’s fitting that we sit with our dying parents on the other end: The cycle is complete, and on either end, we offer thanksgiving.

My sister and I visited the New Zion Cemetery yesterday afternoon and picked the perfect burial spot at the top of the hill.  The plot presides over a lovely view of the old church that Daddy pastored (and largely built with his own hands), of the grounds where we played as children growing up in the parsonage next door, and even the field in the back that Daddy sowed with rye grass every fall so Daisy the Moo-cow (our family milk purveyor) would have nourishment through the winter.

Even though Daddy won’t be in that casket in the ground, the grave marker will provide a Beth-el for our family for generations to come, a granite remembrance that  Daddy’s character and the character of this place and its people are woven into the fabric of generations of his descendants.