October 15, 2007

Celebration of Family (In Memory of C.A. Haynes)

This weekend I traveled out to West Texas for my Grandad’s funeral. The service took place out at my great aunt Cathy’s ranch and as you will see from the photos it wasn’t your ordinary funeral. My father officiated from a dirt road to a small gathering of family seated upon folding chairs in the desert. After several stories were told and some songs sang, the grandkids took his ashes up to a ridge to scatter them and bury his boots. Afterwards we ate a huge meal of beef ribs, barbeque chicken, and freshly slaughtered goat with too many sides and deserts to name (this was after a large breakfast of burritos before the service). Needless to say there was a whole lot of eating, all while catching up with family that had grown out of touch.

The thing that many will find odd was the general uplifted spirit of the crowd. There was very little black being worn and posing for a picture at one point Christina asked if we shouldn’t be smiling. Stranger still is the fact that most of my family are not from a Christian background (in any case my Grandad wasn’t). This wasn’t necessarily a recognition of his passage into the kingdom nor was it in any way an irreverent. The only way I can describe it was a celebration of family, the gratitude for a man that brought us all together in life and in his death.

Aunt Cathy's Ranch

people gathering for the service

My dad giving the eulogy

looking back at the service as we go to spread the ashes

(clockwise from top) Aunt Annette, 2nd Cousin Bradon, Uncle Mark, Dad, Mom

C.A.'s sons: Tye, Robert (Dad), and Mark (holding his grandson Bradon)

C.A.'s grandchildren/great grandson/grand daughters-in-law: Corey, Bradon, Josie, Carra, Alex, Heath, Christina, Jacob, Laura

Laura (my wife) and Corey (my sister)

And we eat...

and talk.

My dad preparing the breakfast

My mom preparing for a 4-wheeler ride

My great uncle Bubba

Heath (my brother) holding Bradon

Christina (Heath's wife)


and a baby javilina.


ninepoundhammer said...

My condolences on the loss of your grandaddy. I am glad y'all could use the opportunity to show respect for his life while celebrating getting together with those of you who remain here.

By the way, your aunt's ranch is beautiful. I kept expecting to see Butch and Sundance ride into one of the photos.

Pyrrhadox said...

Your family is remarkable. I know I've said it before, but every now and then the obvious needs to be stated. And restated. It's wonderful that you can, as a group, approach life and death the way you do. You (in the plural) manage to give me hope and an assertion of value just from a few pictures. Truly remarkable.

sister said...

hey, not to burst your bubble, its braYden and Ty(minus the E). losta love to my spelling challenged bro