- The funeral for Christian Neff yesterday was very nice. Charlotte did a nice job of weaving the story of his life (which had a number of chapters: young boy, high school student, soldier, etc...) by inviting a lot of different people to share memories. Between that, the lovely music, a call for peace, and the hauntingly beautiful walk back to the graveside service, not much else could have been said or done to properly celebrate Chris' life. I was blessed.
- A number of rumors were circulating about the Westboro Baptist "Church" (they're the people who believe that God does bad things to people because he's angry about homosexuality) conducting a picket of the funeral, which created a lot of anger and chaos in the Shawnee community. Must have received 50 different phone calls from area law enforcement officers, media people, concerned citizens, and church members about the issue. A woman even stopped me yesterday morning before the funeral to ask if it would be a good idea for her to keep her son from from our pre-school.
Well, to no surprise to me, even though the church on their website said they were going to show up at the "Shawnee Methodist Dog Kennel" (that's how they listed us... guess that makes me the Top Dog) in a press release on their website, they never showed. My guess is that, according to a more detailed schedule on the site that they keep and their past history, that they have a person who does nothing but follow soldier deaths via the internet so they can make a threat about arriving at a funeral. They'd like you to think they have the power to be in a Florida, Virginia, Ohio, and Nebraska all on the same couple of days (as what was promised this week), but in all reality, the "church" is only the extended family of Fred Phelps.. a disbarred lawyer who fancies himself to be the world's leading bible scholar. It is only because the gifts and abilities of a man who married into family to be able to create creative media, web-design, and frame the message with a marketing strategy most Fortune 500 companies would pay big bucks for, that the family has any kind of national standing at all. Too bad his gifts are being wasted on a message of hate.
In any event, we were ready for them. The Patriot Guard was there to create a barrier between the WB"C" and the family. The police already had developed a strategy to allow the picketers to do their thing (which is protected by the Constitution) while keeping things under control. And, quite frankly, I was more worried about what would could happen to the family (as the mood of peace which enveloped the crowd would have been disturbed with people carrying signs praising God for doing horrible things) or to the picketers (folks in these parts don't suffer fools gladly, and an injury or death to a member of the WB"C" would only strengthen their resolve and intensify their message) than anything else. I'm just glad nothing happened.
- We have been nursing sick boys at our house all week. Between the stomach flu (and all that involves), colds, and fevers, there hasn't been much uninterrupted sleep at the Bucher house. We kept Max home from a soccer tournament today, which proved fortuitous because he just tossed his cookies (this time in the toilet... thank goodness) yet another time. Such is as it is for parents of children... you just gotta take the good with the bad, loving one another through life. Prayer for good health, though, would be greatly appreciated.
- We, more than likely, will find out the gender of our gestating child this week. Every woman who know us, I think, is pulling for a girl (to offset all the testosterone in the house). Aimee and I just want healthy and happy. A little girl would be nice (I'm sure she'd wrap me around her finger and probably drive me to buy a gun when she became a teenager), but we know how to raise boys, so we're down with that too. Aimee just brought home little onesies and baby rattles. God is good.
- Will probably watch the game with Dad tonight. Go Bucks, beat the Gophers.
Have a nice weekend.