was a cold, wet and miserable day. It was Mother’s Day. George
Herman Foster was returning home. We met at the Alderson
Cemetery, at a piece of West Virginia that held many of his
relatives, his wife, Barbara was already there. She waited to
spend eternity with her husband of over fifty years.
were not many of us, his children, a granddaughter with her
husband and child. A few relatives and a few friends. One
friend, who had driven, with his wife, over 200 miles to say
goodbye just as George had a few months before driven, with
oxygen bottle and all, from Alabama to be with him at the
funeral of his brother, but then that’s what friends often do,
silly things that mean so much to both.
words were eloquently spoken by his son in law, and then the
military honor guard, six old and gnarly veterans in blue
blazers fired the salute and then one of them raised the cornet
that very cleverly contains a recorded version of the beautiful
haunting melody of “Taps”. Another presented the folded
American Flag to his weeping son.
on the canvas overheard slowly increased in volume and the
thunder grew louder with an occasional flash of lightning making
one wonder about the possibility of a lightning strike on the
metal frame of the shelter incinerating us all where we stood. I
am sure there were more than me who hoped the services soon
would be concluded. They were over shortly, but not before the
wind and the downpour began. A few of the more thoughtful had
brought their umbrellas but most of us prepared to get wet. A
sudden stop in the rain sent all of us scurrying for our cars.
We selfishly left the family without a goodbye.
Foster would likely have enjoyed our discomfiture, for he did
dearly love a well done joke as long as no one was hurt or
offended, he was, at the last as he was at the first, a young
boy of Alderson, Now he was forever young and he rested in the
soil of the place he loved best, even more than his beloved
cattle farm in Alabama, more than anywhere!
rest easy here, the view of the valley up and down the river is
beautiful, and the protecting hills and mountains have their
arms around all those who rest forever in this spot.