About a week ago, we returned to Indonesia after 16 days at home for my dad’s funeral. The circumstances for our return home to Kentucky couldn’t have been worse, but I’m glad that we were able to get home quickly and be there, surrounded by a community of support and love.
Throughout the two weeks, we saw such an outpouring of love from, seemingly, the entire town of Winchester. Our house was filled with enough food to last us months and there were always friends at the house to provide for a shoulder to cry on, or a welcomed distraction from the grief.
My father’s visitation was attended by an estimated 2,000 people and we had a few hundred attend the funeral services. It was so wonderful to see so many people and hear their stories about how my dad had impacted their lives. Some of the people we talked to were lifelong friends, other’s were dad’s friends from his time in the Air Force who had traveled hundreds of miles to attend. One couple that we met didn’t know us or even my dad, really. But they came to his store on a weekly basis and thought he was a really nice guy and felt obligated to come pay their respects. There were friends of mine who didn’t even know my dad, but came a long way or stood in line a long time just to give me a hug and show support to our family.
After the services, many people came to my mom’s house, where we hosted a reception. All of it—from cleaning, to cooking, to supplying the bar, tents and heaters—was done by friends of the family. Food was supplied by a team of women from our church, as well as from a local caterer.
After the services, there wasn’t a night where friends of mine or my parents weren’t inviting us all to do something to get out of the house.
On the last night that Amy and I were in town, an event was hosted in our town that, in part, honored my dad for his contributions to the STRIDE program. STRIDE serves people in Winchester who have learning or developmental disabilities and my dad was a loyal supporter of the program. During the event, STRIDE announced a scholarship in my dad’s name to assist individuals who don’t have the financial means to participate. The scholarship is funded through the hundreds of dollars in donations that STRIDE has received in my dad’s name.
That’s the thing about Winchester and small towns like it—when you grieve, the whole community grieves with you and lifts you up in support and love.
If you are interested in contributing to the STRIDE Bill Glasscock Memorial Scholarship, you can donate here: http://www.strideky.org/Support-STRIDE.html