Today was Jacobs funeral.. I have so many thoughts and emotions going on about it I just had to come on here and vent a little to get some of them out. This will probably be a long ramble of emotions.. some may not make sense.. bad grammar.. the works.. eh.. don't really care at this point!
The first thing that got to me today was the sounds.. sometimes I just sit and listen and well, at a funeral everyone is polite and really quiet so you hear everything. We arrived about an hour early to make sure we got a seat and all was pretty quiet.. people whispering.. stuffy noses from crying.. smiles from strangers.. solemn looks as everyone walked back to their seat after saying their final goodbye to Jacob face to face.. shuffling of feet to find a place to sit.. that is, until Jacobs Mom came into the room.. then the silent turned into sobs.. a Mother weeping for her son.. a sound that if I live a thousand years I never want to have to hear again. An entire football team dressed in their jerseys getting out of their seats to huddle with their teammate and resite the Lords Prayer together one last time. Everyone sits and grows quiet again.. then Temporary Home by Carrie Underwood comes on.. everyone looses it.. not a dry eye in the entire building, even my fellow firefighters were shedding a tear.. including myself.. a rush of emotions come over all of us.. I squeeze my daughter close while she cry's.. you hear the Mother again.. this time you also hear his little brother sobbing above the tears of his Mother.. poor little Kane is in a wheelchair and his big brother was his hero.. his big brother could run on the football field.. score goals.. his brother was his everything.. the school even built a wheelchair ramp just so Kane could watch Jacob play ball and you better believe he was at every game screaming his head off beaming with joy! Now Kane was sitting in the isle of a funeral home watching his hero be put to rest. You could hear the pain in his cry's. The rest of the funeral was filled with tears and beautiful music. As the funeral was over everyone quietly exited getting one last glimpse at Jacob as they walked by but not before we walked past Kane and were greeted with a huge smile.. he is always smiling.. even at his brother's funeral.. (now if that is not some motivation I don't know what is). Everyone stood outside as the family said their final goodbyes.. while they tried to memorize his face.. while they touched his sweet skin one more time. The Mom walked outside.. sobbing.. the whole parking lot was quiet.. the only thing you could hear is the soft sound of sniffles.. and the loud weeping of the mother crying as she collapses.. 'they are taking my baby.. they are taking my baby' as they put his casket in the car.
During the drive to the burial the town stopped in it's tracks.. not a car moved.. in mid turn they stopped.. whatever they were doing wherever they were going they stopped. I don't know if they knew who it was, why they were stopping, who they were paying respect to, but they stopped. We soon passed by his school.. Ninth Grade Academy.. all of the kids that didn't attend the funeral were standing along the road.. some crying, some waving, some with a blank stare, and some holding his jersey and shirts with his football number.. that's when I lost it again. The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful.. cars stopped.. farmers standing still with their hats off.. construction workers stopping in their tracks to watch us all go by.. people coming out to the road, just to watch us drive by.. stopping just to show their respect. Once we got to our little town we soon came close to the cemetery, but just before the cemetery is Blanche School.. my daughters school.. the school Jacob attended last year and many years before it.. every child was standing outside, they had made signs for him.. one read (one child held each letter) W-E.. heart.. J-A-C-O-B-S.. F-A-M-I-L-Y.. another read.. we will always remember you Jacob.. at the very end is the football players that didn't make it to the funeral, all in their football jerseys.. some of these boys played with Jacob last year.. and the very last boy held Jacob's jersey out in front of him.. #67..
Right after that we pulled into the cemetery.. everyone gathered closely.. you could hear his Mother continue to sob.. the preacher said a few words and a prayer.. a family member spoke of how wonderful Jacob was.. such a polite boy, someone who never met a stranger, someone who loved his family and friends, and someone who was taken from all of us too soon.. it was said if there was a football field in heaven Jacob is playing on it for sure. His Mother was taken away to the car where she collapsed only to be held up by her husband.. all was quiet besides the sobs of his friends, some were comforted by their family and I hear one beg.. please let me say goodbye one more time.. as she walked up and kissed his casket.. as the metal cover was placed over the casket and it was lowered into the ground the sobs grew louder. One of the hardest sounds to me besides the weeping of family and friends was the sound of the dirt hitting the top of the casket.. it was final.. he was laid to rest.. he wasn't coming back..
I finally got up the courage to approach his Mother.. I told her.. 'I don't know if you remember me from the scene, but I am Melinda and I am one of the firefighters that responded to Jacobs wreck and I am so so sorry'.. she pulled me in for a big tear filled hug and thanked me for everything I had done.. all while I was thinking.. I didn't do anything.. there was nothing I could do for him. I wish I could have done something.. I wish I could have brought him back.. I wish he would have opened his eyes and looked at me.. I wish he would have squeezed my hand.. I wish more than anything I could have brought Jacob back. I felt bad for cutting his jeans and belt off.. I hoped that he would forgive me for it later.. I gave his cellphone and money to his Mom.. and I held his arm and hands as his body fought with the damage from his brain.. but that's all I could do for him. No Mother should have to go through this.. no Father.. no friend.. to teammate.. we all know Jacob was taken from us too soon.. but we all know he is in Heaven now.. we all know he is in a better place. We have all also been reminded to hug our loved ones tight.. to cherish every moment.. to always love.. be peaceful.. do everything you can to savor every day because tomorrow is not promised.. not for us.. and not even for our children.
I love you dear friends.. if I could I would hug each of you..
Here is a video of the children at Blanche School as we drove by.. if this isn't touching I just don't know what is.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGTMo-TbLyc
And a view of what it looks like when a town stops in it's tracks to pay their respect to a child we all lost too soon.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XLL_3-iB4U