First native funeral

Sunday we drove up to Pentiction to stay with friends so that we could go to my niece’s funeral in what is now West Kelowna, for years it was Westbank. It was a 5-hour drive over the Hope Princeton highway. Taking the Coke would have been about 1-1/2 hours longer. Oh yea we even went over the Port Mann bridge for the first time since it was built about 4-5 years ago. I wasn’t paying to drive on a B.C highway. Didn’t pay to go over the Coke until I met Ken, he talked me into it, but we both agreed that the bridge was a no-no.

We had about an hour to relax before we went for the evening ceremony or wake. There was drumming and singing after the chief or leader of the band she was a member of by marrying her husband who she met when she was nursing at the Vernon hospital. From what I heard when he first saw her he told his room-mate that, I’m going to marry that woman and he did.

Her head “stone” was of white pine with letters needed burned into the wood. The coffin was also of white pine both carved by a member of the band, absolutely gorgeous.

There was more drumming and singing, I tried to sneak a video but the leading lady drummer saw me and shook her head so I didn’t take the video. I just enjoyed. After the drumming and singing, her sister and daughter spoke then it was an open mike for anyone to say how they felt about my niece. She was very well liked and loved by anyone who met her and she was the babysitter to anyone who needed her.

After the ceremony the coffin and grave marker, better than head stone because it wasn’t stone in any way, were taken up the hill to the cemetery where there was more drumming and singing and a small service where the family dropped a red rose on the coffin and a handfull of dirt. It was a lovely day but windy so shortly after that we went back to the hall where a beautiful lunch was served then we went back to Penticton where we picked up Kentucky fried chicken for dinner and sat talking for the evening.

How do you get lost in a town you spent a number of years in? Easy, things change and grow. What you remember isn’t there anymore or it seems it was moved hehe. We came back Tuesday and before Langley the traffic was backed up. Instead of 5 hours as it took us to get there, it was 6 to come home.

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