Wednesday, December 24, 2008
We woke up and went down stair for breakfast at the hotel. Then went back to our room to get ready. We stayed at a hotel in Ontario so then we drove to the McDermott's church ward building. As we pulled up an officer asked if we were part of the family and Kelvin said, "I'm going to say yes. If you mean by blood no, but the fact I lived with them for 6 months, I'd say yes." So the officer told us to park in the family area. As we pulled up I'd never seen so many cops in one area. As we were walking inside I was not ready for this, so many memories from my dad's funeral flooded my mind. We went inside and went to the viewing. We gave all the boys and their wives hugs and told them how much we loved them. We talked to Florence and hugged her. Then we stood in the back of the room near Florence while they talked about Keith for a while, then they opened the casket. Poor Madison, Brian's daughter, kept crying for Grandpa and calling for him. It broke my heart that she had to go through this, at least Brayden is small enough it's not as hard for him. Seeing Keith laying there with his spirit not in his body was so surreal. Kelvin said that it didn't even look like him. After the family, we payed our respects and then went into the chapel to wait for the funeral to start. Keith was a Los Angeles County Sheriff so the force was their. I've never seen so many guns in a church before (LOL!). The funeral was so nice, the musical numbers that were sung were absolutely beautiful and the eulogies were fabulous. The very last song we sang was Silent Night, when Kelvin saw that he laughed. He told me how that was the one and only song that Keith knew how to play on the piano and how at Christmas he always volunteered to play the music so he could play that song. I've snag that song hundreds of times, but it never had meant more or been so hard to sing than at that moment. Keith was such a good man and loved to serve the Lord. He honestly knew what it mean to give Charity (the pure love of Christ). He was always helping everyone and serving the community. At one point, Officer Harr was speaking and he asked those who had worked with Keith in the courts, as an officer, etc. to stand and I was amazed at how many peoples lives had been touched by this man. To give you numbers, they had to start the funeral over 30 minutes later because there was over 1200 people in attendance and the parking lot was so full, they were parking in between the lanes, we couldn't even get out of our parking spot. After the funeral, which was in Rancho Cucamonga , there was a precession line 2 miles long that then drove to Beaumont to the cemetery. They had to close 3 or 4 LA freeways to get us all to the burial. Brian said as he was driving he had the radio on and and they commented about how some war vet or dignitary must have passed because the precession line was so long and was accompanied by all these officers. Brian was so proud he was like that's my dad! One of Keith's best friends dedicated the grave site and then they had a Christmas tree to put on his plot after the casket was buried. It was so nice to see everyone again even under these circumstances. I'm just so grateful that the kids and I were at their house the end of September and decided to stay a few extra days and had the chance to have a few extra days to spend with Keith. I'll always remember my good bye kiss on my forehead as I headed back to AZ. Keith our Family loves you like a Father and with losing my dad I loved you like my own. You have truly touch a very special place in my heart and I will always cherish the memories we shared. We love you and Rest In Peace until we meet again.
If you know Keith and have pictures and stories of your memories with him. Please email them to me. I'd like to put a book together for the family. Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org