Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Back home.

My gosh, what a whirlwind the past three days have been.

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who was praying for me and sending good thoughts--I know for a fact they helped because I got through the weekend with very little pain or discomfort. In fact, I was in much better shape than my poor sister, who has been sick and running a fever for days, OR my poor brother, who was and still is battling a badly infected foot. We were quite the trio this weekend.

I have felt so blessed the past few days, not just with healing, but with the privilege of being able to be there to say good-bye to Grandpa; with the love and support the church family showed to all of us; and most of all, with the amazing people in my family--my parents, aunts and uncles and all my terrific cousins--you know, none of us would be here were it not for Grandpa and his life, and I have never felt so grateful for my big funny family.

The funeral was especially meaningful, with hymns Grandpa had chosen, and memories of his humor and creativity. My aunt Kathy shared a letter he had written her years ago, and my uncle Larry spoke about the qualities that made Grandpa a blessing to his family. The service closed with a snippet from
The Messiah, which was one of Grandpa's favorite pieces of music: "And the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed..."

I was so glad to get to see some of my cousins who live far away...we never manage to make it home at the same times, and it was great to see them: my cousin Michael who's in the Coast Guard in Wisconsin right now, my cousin Krista from Atlanta, my cousin Dennis from Colorado, my cousin Pam from Illinois with her new husband, and all the others, too.

It was the quiet presence of my cousin Janine that I found oddly comforting--Janine is just a few weeks away from delivering her first child, and her cute big tummy was sort of a silent reminder that life is irrepressible and always coming back.

This is me and my brother (far right) and sister (third from left) with all our first cousins and our aunt Carol. Two cousins were unable to make it: Jarrod, who's overseas in the Air Force, and Darrel in Colorado.

And my mom with her brothers and sisters:

This is an arrangement of some of the little things that symbolized Grandpa's life.

Grandma with my cousin Pam:

It was a hard few days for Grandma, too, of course. She is suffering from dementia now, but she did know what had happened and she was sad. She and Grandpa were married for 66 years.

My flights home on Monday went fine, although I did have a small delay and sat in hot, crowded LaGuardia Airport much longer than I would have liked. It was very neat coming into LaGuardia, though--we came in right over Manhattan, and I could see the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, Central Park, and even the Dakota apartments from my plane window. It was cool.

Today I'm just super tired, but thankfully I have plenty of time to rest up and get back into the swing of things. Todd is working crazy hours so far this week, which is fine except that I still need him to help me hoist laundry in and out of our stackable dryer, since I can't quite manage that yet! Who knows when the laundry will get done?

Thanks again for the good thoughts and prayers. I am going to try to be a better Blogger and Facebook friend than I've been lately! I'm definitely feeling ready for life to get back to where it was a couple months ago after all these events.