The congregation sang two hymns: "How Great Thou Art" and "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory." I accompanied our three daughters, who sang "He Is Good"; and the church organist accompanied Susan and me when we sang "Thank God for the Promise of Spring" (here's a beautiful version of the latter). It was the girls' first time singing for a funeral, so we coached them not to make eye contact with anyone in the congregation. At weddings and for other types of vocal performances, we usually give the opposite advice; but seeing a crying relative at a funeral can send a singer into sobs him-/herself and derail the song entirely. Anyhoo, they did a terrific job. And our accompanist, who had never rehearsed with us and did not even receive the music until right before the funeral, just knocked it out of the park, adding appropriate ornamentation throughout, slowing down at the right (albeit unmarked) places, all with the instincts of someone who has learned through the years how to follow a singer when accompanying.
We joined the funeral procession to Taylor afterward for a graveside service in the cemetery northeast of town. That's where Elmer's parents and siblings are buried, too. Afterward, there was no big family gathering. This is totally unlike my own family--and Susan's mom's family--who would have determined beforehand some relative's house for everyone to go to after the funeral for huge amounts of food and lots of visiting and sharing of memories and viewing of photo albums, etc. Nope, not today; everyone just said goodbye and drove away. Strange.
So we invited a few people to our house for supper: Susan's brother Jerrett, their dad Roger, Roger's girlfriend JoAnn, Roger's sister Sharon, and my dad Arlo and stepmom Beverly. Susan served a lettuce salad tossed in a vinaigrette with crunchy chow mein noodles, cashew nuts, and bacon; chicken cacciatore stewed all day in a crock pot and served over tri-color fettuccine noodles; a variety of fresh fruit in a yogurt sauce; and, for dessert, homemade angel food cake drizzled in homemade whipped cream and topped with both lemon and raspberry sorbet, served with "chocolate velvet" coffee. Yeah, pretty much delicious.
It was good to be together, to visit, to pose for photos (a "must" at any get-together that involves Mobergs), and to stand on the front step and wave goodbye to everyone until their tail lights were no longer visible (again, standard procedure for when we have company). It was a sad reason to have family over for supper, but it was nice to be able to host them.
Suzanna, Hillary, and Abigail with Grandma and Grandpa Moberg
Sharon, Jerrett, Abigail, Suzanna, Susan, Hillary, JoAnn, and Roger
P.S. I had to duck out of the house for a while this evening to attend parent/teacher conferences for Abigail and Hillary (Susan stayed behind to entertain our guests and finalize supper). I was feeling pretty proud as I looked at their report cards and heard from their teachers!