Day 29: Waldine Patton

Oct 28, 2011 | 0 comments

Crescent and Star

The life celebration for Waldine Patton took place at Ballut Abyad Shrine Center. She was the First Lady of the Shrine in 2000, when her husband Roy was the Potentate. Along the walls of the Shrine Center, pictures of Potentates for Ballut Abyad stretched back to 1887.

After the family came in and was seated, the song “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong played, followed by a moment of silence.William Aber officiated, starting with a prayer:

O Lord support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then Lord, in your mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last.

He spoke words from the Old and New Testament, including Psalm 121:

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
 from this time forth and forevermore.

He also recited Psalm 23 (The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want), and John 4 (Let not your hearts be troubled, in my Father’s house there are many rooms).

Waldine Patton wore many hats in her lifetime. She liked to wear hats, as evidenced in the many photos of her. She was a Red Hatter, and eight of those friends were in attendance in full purple and red regalia. For 27 years she owned and operated Krystals NFL Shoppe with her husband Roy. She was active in the Assistance League of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Country Club. And perhaps the hat she was proudest of was the family hat that she wore full of love as a twin sister, wife, mother, grandmother.

She loved gardening, playing bridge, being on any kind of boat – from fishing to cruise liners. She was a wonderful cook who always brought food with her and shared food with her neighbors. Her husband said that she would rather give than receive.

We watched a video montage of photos throughout Waldine’s life, set to the music of Frank Sinatra’s “The Best is Yet to Come” and “Young at Heart.” I thought the lyrics were wonderful for a funeral, and I imagine the song was selected because it described Waldine:

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you’re young at heart
For it’s hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you’re young at heart

You can go to extremes with impossible schemes
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams
And life gets more exciting with each passing day
And love is either in your heart or on it’s way

Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth
To be young at heart
For as rich as you are it’s much better by far
To be young at heart

And if you should survive to 105
Look at all you’ll derive out of being alive
Then here is the best part, you have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart

After the video, Aber said, “There’s a saying among Masons that ‘The roll of the craftsmen has been called and (name) has not answered. He has gone to the house not made of human hands.'”

“Rest is never an end in itself,” said Aber. “Rest fits us for getting ready to go on. Death is getting ready for a new, rich, rewarding life, just over a horizon we cannot see. Death is scary because none of us has ever died. We don’t know what is over the horizon.”

He likened it to a baby in the womb, who does not yet know the delights that await outside of the warm, dark, wet enclosure where all needs are met. And yet we have a friend waiting for us, someone we know who will bring us to the house of many rooms. Jesus spoke of death as a home, and a home means love.

He quoted Kahlil Gibran: “What is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?”

After ending with a prayer of thanks for Waldine, the last song played was “I’ll Be Seeing You.” The family received attendees in the lobby before a reception across the hall in the Fez Club.

I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces all day through
In that small café, the park across the way
The children’s carousel, the chestnut trees, the wishing well

I’ll be seeing you in every lovely summer’s day
In everything that’s light and gay
I’ll always think of you that way
I’ll find you in the mornin’ sun
And when the night is new
I’ll be looking at the moon
But I’ll be seeing you

I’ll find you in the mornin’ sun
And when the night is new
I’ll be looking at the moon
But I’ll be seeing you

Day 29: Waldine Patton
A Good Goodbye