It might seem like a strange thing to say, but today I attended the best funeral. Jim Teskey was friends with my dad "back in the day". Years later, after Jim had married Lynda and Dave had married Ellen and they had 6 kids between them, the Teskey and the Mills clans would hang out.
There were games nights and camping excursions, campfires with smores and watching movies on a BETA player at the Teskeys!! Jason and John were older than me - more the age of my siblings. So as the "older kids" got older, I was left tagging along with the adults. I didn't mind. Lynda didn't have a daughter and is definitely a girly-girl so having me around was like a surrogate daughter for her. We had lots of good times.
Memories of the Teskeys:
- hearing stories of the trouble Jim & Dad used to stir up
- camping at United Church Camp
- pop and chip parties
- seeing "The Nations"
- Jim's ever-present suspenders
- going to London Dairy
- JIMLYN licence plate
- Jim's love of the song "Lynda...Do You Wanna Dance" (and inspiration for me singing it almost every time I see her)
We were all sad to hear that Jim had developed leukemia and even more sad when we learned that his days with us on earth were numbered. I went to see Jim one week ago. Lynda and I had a little cry when I got there, but she informed me that Jim didn't want any of that. In his last days he wanted all laughter and good memories and true to his word, he was still joking around as he sat on the edge of the bed.
The comforting thing about today is that Jim planned every last detail. He didn't want any suits and ties at his funeral...dress comfortably, casually and wear suspenders if you can. (Jim's trademark) The sanctuary today was a sea of suspenders :) Jim was able to ask each pallbearer, personally, if they would do the honour. He picked the music and scripture. The service was the most uplifting and inspirational funerals I have seen. It has "Jim" written all over it. My favourite details:
- the family entered to the sounds of The Grundy County Auction
- Jim exited to Louisiana Saturday Night
- singing "I'll Fly Away" and "When We All Get To Heaven"
- the poignant words of his sons
- the pastor in a golf shirt
- playing his & Lynda's song "Lay Me Down" by Conway Twitty (who else would play this song at a funeral? I was a puddle)
- the funeral procession passing their house and the purple truck parked out front
- the squirt guns pulled out at the grave site!