Family, friends ‘rocked’ cemetery for service

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It’s not often you hear one say this, but I sure do hate it that I missed that funeral on Saturday.

Actually, there were two funerals that I needed to attend; however, work obligations kept me away from each.

Still, I did want to go.

I’ve always thought it strange the first three letters of “funeral” spell “fun.” I can’t recall a single funeral that was at all fun, but if there was going to be one, I think the Saturday funeral of my uncle Jim Paul Robbins would have been it.

Uncle JP, as we called him, was diagnosed with cancer at the end of April. He passed away nearly one month later.

I’d heard he had a colorful life. I remember three things about him – he’d never shy away from talking about his “unfortunate incarceration” for something I have yet to figure out; he loved vanilla ice cream cones; and he always wore shorts, no matter the temperature outside.

I’ve written about his sister, my grandmother, numerous times. After her death from cancer, her parting gift to the world was a black marble bench inscribed with the words, “I didn’t miss a damn thing.” So needless to say, all of the family believes there’s something to be said for making a statement when one departs this world.

I have to share the Facebook invitation I got last Monday for his funeral: “The date and time for Jim Paul’s graveside memorial service is 10 a.m., Sat., June 8, at New Hope Church cemetery. Look for us next to Grandma Maude Cravey Robbins. We plan to rock the cemetery with JP’s signature song, ‘Bad Moon Rising’ as part of the service!”

Who doesn’t love Credence Clearwater Revival? And at a funeral? How could that not be something to write about? And how could that not be a person we all need to know?

On the flip side, one of my best friends from high school recently lost her mother after a sudden, massive heart attack. One month later, she lost her father following complications from a surgery. Wish I could’ve made that funeral – if not for anything than to be someone she could turn to for comfort or tissues or whatever.

Her parents were quiet people who loved their daughter and their grandchildren immensely. It’s sad to know that her world is forever changed.

And while I’m not planning on departing this world any time soon, I do hope that when I go, people will at least know that I did something while I was here. If not, I’m sure I’ll find some way to remind them on my way out. After all, the bar is set incredibly high, and my grandmother would be most disappointed if I didn’t come up with something Neat.