Ceil’s parent’s came to town Saturday. When they arrived I was gone with Matthew, taking Will to his lake trip ride. Anna was already gone on her lake trip, and Ceil didn’t get home until 7 pm. That night we went to Ceil and Matthew’s favorite…Longhorn. Sunday her parents actually went to NP with us. They talked about how they liked the guest speaker. Sunday afternoon my father-in-law helped fix several things, which was nice. It was a comfort for Ceil to have them there.
I think the media aspect made it harder on the family, though they've had tons of support. It was certainly hard for me, seeing Ceil and other loved ones suffering in the public eye. Jenny was a close friend/mentor/hero for Ceil, who taught Anna and her friends knitting a few weeks ago. Will cut yards with her youngest son. We've been good friends with them for almost 20 years. It has been a tough few days, but we've had lots of friends helping out.
The memorial service yesterday was a tribute to the great job Jenny did raising her children...they all gave great testimonies of how they plan to grow from their mother's death. Our old pastor shared some personal stories of trips he had taken with Jenny...of her compassion for the poor, her intellect, and her sense of humor. No one was surprised that she put up a fight. Her bike riding was a very small part of her life.We saw Andrew Evans and his mom at the service...last year Jenny taught him at the Johnson Ferry home school Independent Studies school, with her. Andy Stanley attended the funeral, but didn’t do anything. My old workout partner David McDaniel, who is on staff (I think he’s involved in both building projects) read some Bible verses. Afterwards McDaniel introduced me to Jeff Henderson, the ex-Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl guy that had spoken at NP. Harvey Snider was the suit that was interviewed on TV…the media probably hit him not long after I had talked to him. Lang’s dad Reid said he and his wife were there, but I didn’t see them.
The mood was a little lighter around the Ewing house Tuesday. Margaret had spent most of the time upstairs in her room, though her door was always open to her many friends and relatives that visited. They encouraged Ceil to come back to the house, and they were able to have a good laugh about some of the events over the weekend. Becky Norman and Ceil took some of the many flowers to a women’s shelter Tuesday, and both of them have been at the house helping out every day.
My boss showed up Tuesday…the first time I’d seen him since July 7th. Before Will was born I went to a Braves game at AFC with my boss and his daughter. I took young Jimmy Ewing, who was about the same age as his daughter.
Dana Goodwin also passed away in July, losing her long fight with cancer. Coleman and Shirley are neighbors of the Ewings…Jenny had attended Dana’s funeral. Dana had been married for a few years, but I don’t think she had children.
There are good things happening here…we’ve had a busy and fun summer. We have close friends in our small group, and they rallied around Ceil and me during this last week.
Last week Will went to Lake Burton with some Mt. Paran teammates. This weekend he’s going camping with another old teammate…his dad was Matthew’s coach…the good one who teaches hitting so well. His younger son is at a camp this week at Shaw Park, he says none of the boys have good swings.
Robin Brady teaches in the children’s class next to Ceil’s. Young Brady Gailey’s wife is on staff at North Point, and I’ve been able to catch up with him a few times. His older brother Tom is in the Marines Special Forces, and he commanded the unit that caught Saddam.
Ceil and Becky keep up with other pretty good. Will takes science and English with Joel Norman at the Living Science Academy, the wonderful school I was telling you about. Willis Norman loves it there as well. Becky and I were chaperones on their spring expedition to the Georgia coast. Next year our entire family may go.
We see David & Mary Hurt and Mark & Leah Stevens several times each year…usually with the Ewings. They go to the Buckhead Church…we have many friends there, but right now we feel at home up at the Alpharetta church. Our children want us to join Johnson Ferry, where their best friends go. We know plenty of folk there, including George Wright and Scott & Robin Condra, but Ceil and I aren’t ready for that, either. As we walked out of JFBC one Sunday, next to a lady worshipper, our Matthew exclaimed “I never want to go back to Johnson Ferry again!”