I recall my Daddy sitting in the front of the church, weeping endlessly as my Grandfather, Steve Crosby lie in state, in his own coffin, prior to being forever interred into the ground. I do not recall if Daddy wept that way at his own father's funeral. It was a few years earlier, but I cannot recall his emotions at the service. I, perhaps had my mind on other things.
Pa Steve had come home from logging in the woods, whistling and generally at peace with the world. It was November 23, 1963. That evening, on the national news (and the local news) the T.V. announcer retold how President John F. Kennedy had been gunned down by an assassin in Dallas, Texas, near the Dallas book Depository. Pa commented that he did not understand how anyone could have done such a thing. Pa was not necessarily a John Kennedy fan, but he was still struck with disbelief that someone could have killed our President.
In the very early hours of the next morning, as he and Grandmoma slept, he died from a heart attack.
Later. . . days later, the logging "hands" who worked for him, mentioned that the day before, at work, "Mr. Steve" had not yelled at anyone all day. They found this very unusual and untypical of him.
It seemed very peculiar for me to be seated in the Penile Baptist Church during his funeral service. I had previously spent very little time in my Grandom-o's church. She was a Baptist and we had been raised in the Catholic Church. Not only were my Moma and Daddy inside a Baptist Church, but they were sitting on the very front seat; a seat that seemed as though it should be reserved for a very special person.
I also recall my eight year old brother loudly thanking my parents for his new clothes, recently purchased that he might be presentable at my grandfather's funeral.
Grandpa Worden died three or four years earlier, at home, in his sleep, in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. He had suffered from Cancer for many years. I cannot recall Daddy's emotions at this service. I, perhaps had my mind on other things. I DO recall us reaching Rhinelander a few days before he passed away.
I guess he was waiting for most of his nine children to arrive before he departed. We drove up from South Carolina. Uncle Jim and his family drove in from Californian. Aunt Mary Jane over down from Michigan. Most of the other children live in or around Rhinelander.
I can still recall the name of the priest who delivered his eulogy; Father Vertruba. He was the parish priest. I also recall Daddy going out to the cemetery after the first snow fall and sweeping the snow off of his Daddy's grave because Grandpa hated, so much for the snow to set on the ground for any time.
One morning, in late December, Linda drove her mother, Helen, to Memorial Hospital in Savannah for some tests and observation. Helen suffered with Lupus, a leukemia-like disease.
Helen's doctor asked her to check herself in so some tests could be run. Linda walked her Mother up to her room, but had to hurry back home to Katie, Mikey and Tommy. They were only nine, seven and five. Nettie Lanier, who kept Helen's house clean on a part time basis, was keeping the children while Linda took her Mother to the hospital.
Three nights later, the hospital called us and told us we needed to get to the hospital right away, because Helen had taken a turn for the worst. We got our neighbor to stay with the children as we rushed to Savannah. When we arrived, we were told that Helen had a cardiac arrest and they were unsuccessful in reviving her.
We laid her to rest, along with her Mother and Father, Annie and Cal, and along side her two infant daughters, Melissa Ann and Cheri Cloe, in Live Oak Cemetery in Walterboro, on December 14, 1983.
Grandmom-O Donie died in the Walterboro Hospital one month later, on January 15, 1984, at the age of 84. Her tired old body just gave out on her. She told her minister, when he visited with her the night before she died. . . actually she quoted the words to a hymn, "Just a short while longer and I'll be gone, where the sun shall set no more. . ." and before the next sunset, she was gone.We all, in turn, and in our own way, wept when Daddy left this world to join his earthly father and our Heavenly Father in Glory. His heart gave out, his brain tumor had reappeared, and the arteries in his legs became blocked.
He died in the VA hospital in Charleston on January 25, 1984, just ten short days after our beloved Grandmom-O Donie. Say hello to Laura for us, won't you, Daddy!Our hearts have been saddened many times in our lifetime, but we felt deep remorse three times in forty five days, loosing Linda's Mother, my Grandmother and my Dad. But as you can probably tell, we overcame it. . .well, we became accustomed to it. One never forgets, but we learn to move on.
(End of Chapter 8)