TRAVEL THERE: FAREWELL TO FREEMAN
Friday morning it was time to do what we’d come for, say good bye to Deb’s dad, Freeman Shera. The small Fairfield Cemetary in Fairborn is next door to the main gate of the Air Force Base. It was Memorial Day weekend, so there was a field of flags waving. We’d been by Hollon’s Flowers and picked up the beautiful arrangement they’d made out of what they considered leftovers
Doing Our Duty
Towards the back of the facility was a small white building used as an office. Someone on a mower carefully groomed the grounds for the special weekend. No one was in the office, but soon the man in charge came running across the cemetery waving his hands in the air. He was so sorry he wasn’t right there to greet us, but it would have been hard for him, since we’d arrived almost half an hour early.
Small towns are different. I’d buried my father just a few months before, but that was in Dallas. Everyone was nice and polite, but I knew I was just one of many grieving daughters they were respectfully putting through our paces. This kind gentleman in Fairborn actually cared. He’d never met Freeman and knew Deb only from phone conversations, but his genuine concern for us was readily apparent.
This was a small event. Deb and I were the only mourners. No minister stood with us to say comforting things. The two cemetery employees made sure they’d done what we wanted and then stood aside to assist us, should we need them. I placed the flowers over the monument.
We approached the small hole which had been dug into the ground and placed Freeman’s remains on Deb’s mother’s vault. It comforted Deb to see it. After a moment, I asked Deb if she wanted me to pray and she did. I thanked God for the life Freeman lived and asked protection for his daughter. The amen was enthusiastically echoed by the two men.
At Deb’s request, they filled the hole and we placed the flowers where Deb’s parent’s lay – together again, after many years apart. There was nothing more we could do. So, we drove away.