Thursday, February 5, 2015

Farewell my friend

 Yesterday I had the privileged to attend the funeral of my dear friend, Edna. It was a full day event of tears, laughter, family, friends, food, music and lots of great memories. Edna herself had planned out every detail and her loving husband and good friends carried it out beautifully. We arrived at St. John's cathedral in downtown Fresno. A gorgeous Catholic church in the heart of Fresno. As everyone arrived there was a mariachi band playing out in front. We went and sat down and they proceeded with a traditional Catholic mass. I loved how the priest told us that as believers, we aren't saying goodbye to our friend, just farewell. 

Once that had concluded we went to St. Peter's cemetery for her burial. Being a state correctional officer she was honored with the firing of the guns and a flag presented to her husband. The pallbearers placed their boutonniere on her casket and then her family placed theirs. Finally, they placed her in her spot on this giant wall and played Amazing Grace. As emotional as everything was, it was a perfect service. 

Everyone then headed to the reception where they showed a lovely montage of her life, served delicious food and had friends and family share some of their favorite memories of her. I didn't have the courage to stand and speak at the reception so here is mine now..My name is Johanna and I had the great privilege to play soccer with Edna. The month I turned 25 my brother invited me to come play with the team he played with. Edna allowed me to play with only the credentials that I was Jason's sister. You see, she didn't let just anyone play on her team so I was honored. She wanted us to be family so she was cautious about who she let on the team. She worked hard to keep us together, even paying our league fees when we flaked and didn't get them in on time. She loved soccer and the people she played with. When her disease progressed I wanted to help so I stepped in the role of helping to manage the team. I can see now how hard she worked and how much she cared for this team. I am very honored that she trusted me to take over what she has worked so hard to keep together. And I feel like I have a huge responsibility to her and to our team that we continue to stick together, treat each other like family and play as she would want us to. Thank you my dear friend for inviting me into your family. I will miss you every day but know you will always be with me. Until we see each other again...I love you.

The handsome pallbearers

Lastly, we packed up the flowers and returned to the cemetery to enjoy a drink and some music, just laughing, reminiscing, dancing and enjoying the fellowship. That was my favorite part because we all knew she would have loved that.

My Soccer Family

The last time she played with us - a year ago

At the "after party" - The guys

The girls

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