As I mentioned in a previous post, my family and I do our best to go back to my home in Arkansas every Thanksgiving. We then travel from Benton to Batesville, where my mom’s family lives. My Uncle Gary still farms my grandparents’ farm there with my cousin, Don. It is also where my dad is buried.
Every year, my mom uses this trip to put a new flower arrangement on the tombstone. She goes up one or two other times during the year, as well, but at Thanksgiving everyone goes. Last year, I was having such a rotten year, that I just couldn’t bear to go. I think of Dad everyday and I know he’s not in the ground – he’s with our Lord. But last year, I just couldn’t handle the cemetery.
I did go this year. We gathered around the grave in a circle, trying to block out the gusts of wind. We prayed and thanked God for the greatest man we ever knew, we thanked Him for salvation – the promise of Heaven – and then we sang together. We sang, “When We All Get to Heaven”, loudly and cheerfully, right there in the cemetery.
As the youngest child of Ron and Carolyn Courtney, I am honored to have been placed in their family.
We got there before everyone else, so I snapped several photos. This one of Laci, missing the Papa she never met, says it all.
But I prefer to remember him this way: