We gathered just last month at another father's funeral. Yesterday we were in Oakland to say good-bye to Kim's dad.
Kim has been my friend since 1971. We were sorority sisters, roommates after college, and I was maid of honor in Kim and Ed's wedding 28 years ago. During our college years, and later, I often visited Kim's parents' home in Orinda. Kim's dad was always a joy to be around. He was bigger than life, a handsome businessman and ex-FBI agent, who welcomed Kim's friends and always had good stories to share. I have very fond memories of visits to Kim's family's home.
I was looking forward to a "mostly" day off yesterday. I booked just a couple of clients since the agency where I work on Mondays had the President's Day holiday. When I learned the funeral would be on Monday, it only took a few phone calls to rearrange the day. I booked flights in and out of Ontario to Oakland, cancelled clients, and called my other "sisters" to arrange pick-up and drop-off at the Oakland airport.
It was a long day. I left my house at 5:15 AM, drove to Ontario, and flew to Oakland. Joy picked me up at the airport, and we met the rest of the gang at the church. After the service, there was a very nice buffet lunch, and we had some time with Kim. I was back at the Oakland airport by 2:45, and got a 4 PM plane back to Ontario. I was home in the desert by 7.
I am SO glad I was able to be there for Kim. Our presence meant a lot to her. She was very close to her dad, and always a wonderful daughter to him. After a long illness, he is at peace and at rest. Our loyal group of sorority sisters are "the family we have chosen". We are there when one of us needs support or has an occasion to celebrate!