Mom's memorial pot-luck dinner and remembrance service was yesterday. Over one hundred people - both friends and family - attended.

There was far more food than we needed, but that's OK. At least everybody had plenty to eat. In fact, there was so much that the desserts were barely touched. We were all full by the time our plates were empty.

The service after the eats was more than just a tear-jerker. Many people commented that they hope, when they pass on, so many folks not only attend their funeral but also have such touching things to say about them.

Several individuals stepped to the microphone and gave testimonials to how my mother had touched their lives. The best came from my cousin Eric DeKing.

After the service, most of the close family rode out to the cemetery. We buried Mom's ashes ourselves. The hole had been prepared for us, but Dad and Karl placed the urn in the grave along with a ceramic angel/music box and an envelope full of letters my dad had written to Mom after her death. Dad wound up the music box and it played while a few words were spoken by the lay minister.

When the gentleman was finished speaking, Dad picked up a shovel and put a few shovelsful of soil into the grave. He handed the shovel to me and I did the same. I passed the implement to Karl, who took his turn. We each repeated this a couple of times, then Dad took over to finish the job. When the grave was half full, he requested that we all leave him alone with Mom for a while.

My cousins, aunts, uncles, brother and daughter walked away to visit a few other relatives who are also interred in that hallowed place, Evergreen Cemetery on Dutch Street Road in Huron, NY. All of "my" DeKings are there, going all the way back to my great-great-grandfather Jacob DeKing and his wife Lucinda Hollebrand. They were natives of the Netherlands, as were most of my other ancestors on my Dad's side of the family.

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