365 Days of Grace in Small Things--The Beauty of the Day & Friendships
Jacques was carried from the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation to the mausoleum at the very top of Pony Tracks Ranch on the back of his second-favorite tank, an M-551 Sheridan, nicknamed "Deathstalker". The funeral cortege passed under the raised muzzle of the Panther, which was drawn out in his honor. The casket was covered not by a flag, but by the camouflage net that is part of the Sheridan's accoutrements. Dave Marian drove, and Jumper Girl rode up in the commander's post.
The day was absolutely beautiful -- unseasonably warm and "severe clear", as Jacques the pilot would have said. The mausoleum is near the top of the ranch, and has a view from Mt. Tamalpais around to Mt. Hamilton.
I stood with Jacques first wife, the mother of his older sons, Janet Littlefield. I am so grateful for her generosity of spirit and her friendship.
I had a teary moment as Jumper Girl dismounted from the Deathstalker. Jacques' sister had a teary moment when the casket was taken off the tank by the forklift, because it was the last time Jacques would have contact with his beloved machinery. Jacques' brother Eddie piped him from the forklift to the mausoleum.
After the funeral, Jacques' favorite Sunday night meal was served. It was like being back in 1997.