Today, I had the honor of being a guest at the funeral service of a Veteran Brother and friend, whom I shared classes with at Buchser High School. Ray Darrow was 70-years-old and a proud Vietnam Veteran, who answered his Country’s call. Today, with his family and friends in attendance, he was laid to rest with full military honors.
As the ceremony progressed, I watched with sadness and silently stood, reminiscing of Ray’s wonderful life of 50 years with his wife, Roseann, and daughter, Jeannine. Ray met his wife while he was in the service and their love blossomed for 50 years. After the completion of the ceremony, Military Taps was going to be performed. As a Veteran myself, this is the moment which always strokes a soft spot in my heart, because it brings back memories of my fallen Brothers. After Taps, the folding of the flag that draped Ray’s casket followed. I watched as two soldiers meticulously took pride in the routine of symbolically folding the flag thirteen times. The soldier then presented it to Roseann as a keepsake and thanked her for Ray’s service to his country. As the soldier slowly backed away he stopped and gave her a slow hand salute, and then it happened…
With tears in her eyes, Roseann sat quietly looking down at the flag she held in her lap. Suddenly, a gentle breeze picked up a large leaf from behind the soldier, who stood at attention. The leaf gently rose and floated from the ground and landed on her lips, not just blowing past her, but pressing itself against her lips, kissing her gently. After a long breath, she gently removed it and placed it on the flag. She looked lovingly at the leaf and knew Ray had somehow come back in that instant and pressed his lips on hers. It was a beautiful moment for me to witness. We both knew Ray accomplished how he wanted to say goodbye and show his love for his wife. God bless you both.
Mission City Voices