(the following was written by my sister, Erin and I.)
My Mom, sister and I tried to keep everything together for the two days of services. Dad never would've wanted us spending every minute bawling our eyes out so we focused on laughing, telling stories and trying to keep it as much of a Finnegan's Wake as possible with more laughter than tears. (Even during the short service at the funeral home, we accidentally gave the funeral parlor the wrong CD and they started playing some rap Muppets song. It was hysterical. Dad would've laughed his ass off. Then as the last song played ("The Parting Glass"), you could hear my little nephew in the back room laughing. To really top it off, the phone rang at the funeral parlor. Dad was ALWAYS making calls to see how family and friends were doing so it was quite appropriate.
Dad always said that he wanted to be buried at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne (down the Cape.) Everyone wanted to give him a big send off but none of us expected what Dad got.
My sister spent hours coordinating with his Federal Marshal, State Police and BPD friends to get some kind of motorcade organized for the drive to Bourne. They weren't quite sure what they could provide. Well, they really came through for my dad. We had six Boston and State police bikes, a homeland security truck and two Federal Marshal cars. When we turned the corner at East Milton to get onto 93, we were STUNNED to see that they had shut down 93 (a MAJOR highway) as well as every exit ramp down Route 3 and the rotary in Bourne for our Dad. It truly was almost like a senator's send-off or something reserved for someone very high up (Dad was a retired U.S. Marshal! Dad would've been laughing at having backed up traffic!)
At the cemetery, we had to wait in line behind other families. Our line of cars was at least thirty long (it's a long drive down to the Cape and it was nice that so many friends and family came down. Each car was packed with people who knew and loved Dad.) The funny thing is, we all started meeting up in the bathroom. My cousin asked who had brought a cooler (hey, my Dad would've been the first to have suggested it.) It was more like a big family get together standing along the side of the road with everyone talking. Dad would've loved it.
We also got a text from the head of the Secret Service (another one of Dad's good buddies) apologizing for not being able to make the services. I've always said that Dad made friends everywhere he went.
During the ceremony, Dad was given a big send off with bagpipes and the piper was in full kilt! It was so hard to walk away from the casket. That's when I kind of lost it.
At Heritage Hall, we heard so many amazing stories about my Dad. It was incredibly difficult leaving his casket but although there will be a huge void in our lives (and the lives of so many others), we have such a great support system who will help him live on through the stories (there are SO many). Every now and then, I'm going to post photos and a story from or about my Dad. It will be a good way to heal, look back and smile when I think of all of the happy memories and the love that he had for his family and his friends.
We love you, Daddy. We always will.