A True Memorial Celebration

Well, sorry for the hiatus. I have been in the USA for my grandmother’s funeral service. I must say that although it was for a sad occasion and there were many hard and sad moments, the service and the visit with my family was really wonderful.

The biggest regret was that my little brother Kevin could not be at the service. He is wrapping up his 3rd tour in Iraq and was not able to get leave. I really wish he could have been there and he was really missed. My dad was there as was my oldest brother Craig with my 2 nephews and it was really nice to see them after such a long time and my other brother Ryan and his wife Amme. All the kids got to stay grandma's house and most of the time everyone else was there setting up or cleaning up or just hanging out.

My Aunt and Uncle that live in Fresno were around a lot really doing everything and we were trying to help where we could. And my aunt is one of those genius event throwers.

We spent all Friday setting up, cleaning things, arranging stuff. And then there was plenty of time to hang in the pool. Now this pool has so many memories for me and my brothers. This was the site of countless splashing games, whirlpools creations, wrestling matches and crying fits for years. It is also known a bit as being a spot that people tend to get pushed in. (This is a favorite game of my family)

It was really cool to see my brothers and my nephews, even my uncle and Dad at one point, all playing and enjoying themselves in the same way 20 years later. It really was a nice way to bring to a wrap-up , a lot of the experiences that we have had there.

That night my sister in law Amme Standring whom I ABSOLTLY LOVE! (She is truly a rock star) took me with her to get some of the last items that we needed to pick up for the memorial when we heard a little band playing in the parking lot of the local outdoor shopping center. We stopped off to get some wine at a little place called the Patio Cafe. We ordered a flight of red wine and a goat cheese appetizer. The flight came out with about twice the wine I was expecting. I am not complaining but for $9 I certainly feel I got my moneys worth.

It was so good. We sat there for a while and enjoyed our snack and listened to the band. We had no problem taking care of that wine though!

The next morning was what you would expect. We all got up and started to do the last few details around the house before guests arrived and also got ready ourselves and then it was off to the service.

I do not know if it was inappropriate but I took some pictures with and of my family members and even again later at the memorial celebration. I hope that no one thought that was wrong of me. I recall my memories through my photos and when I look at my old photos I remember the events more clearly in my mind.

The service was okay during the arrival process when guests were coming in and signing her book and sitting but once the minister started to speak I had a really hard time. You know that feeling when tears fall from your face so fast it puddles when you blink? Well, that was me. I was attempting to hide behind these almost see through blue glasses and by now drying my eyes was pretty useless.

Pastor Jack from my cousin Bob Standring's church did an amazing job. I have differing views on religion then my Catholic husband and Christian (even if loosely) family tending more towards Buddhism including the idea of reincarnation. I was so thankful that the words that he spoke reflected my views and feelings as much as anyone there and that was so appreciated. It was a beautiful service. My Dad spoke as well and that was really nice.

The service at the house was exactly what it was supposed to be... a celebration of her life. Her beautiful garden that she took so much love and care in was the perfect backdrop for such an occasion.

Her gardner and friend Alejandro came and it was great to see him. He had given me a Mexican cook book when I was in town a few months ago and was such a wonderful person to my grandma. She absolutely loved her yard and they had worked together for the past 10 years.

Many of her friends came and it was really wonderful. Every one was so nice and had such wonderful things to say about my grandma. It was really touching. They all had fun stories to tell and memories to share. It really was a wonderful afternoon. I must take a moment to thank my Aunt Nancy and her wonderful friends who set everything up and helped everything run smoothly. We could never have done it- especially as beautifully - as they did for us. Thank you so much Nancy, Jeanie (sorry if spelt wrong) Carla and I am so sorry but I do not know that last women's name.

Once everyone had left we all just sat around outside and talked and hung out. It was really nice. There was one point that my brothers managed to get all the forbidden items away from my dad in preparation for throwing him in. As they lifted him to go to the pool he instantly grabbed the belt of my aunt Nancy. Nancy is not the wet kind of lady. Everyone knew that it was going to be bad if she got wet. That is what my dad was counting on. My Uncle Brad, knowing that it was going to be very bad if Nancy got thrown in the pool danced around helplessly trying to get them to stop. Finally, my brother Craig, starts to try to help Nancy but not before my uncle brad resorts to tickling Craig to try to get him to stop. It was a pretty funny moment. I am just so lucky that it was all caught on video. :) Sorry Brad!

The next day was nice, we had a light breakfast at Nancy and Brad's for father’s day and just hung out for most of the day. Jeanie had us over for dinner that night and it was wonderful.

Monday was interesting. My dad and Brad picked me up at my grandma's house where I was now staying all by myself. It was strange sitting in the kitchen where I had so many times with my grandma and drink coffee all by myself. But it was fun to look around at all the cool memories and photos and trinkets. I even took a little bottle of my grandma's perfume. You can find it at any right aid or Walgreens. "It's not georgio, its Primo" Or maybe the other way around. But it is my grandma in a bottle.

I went with dad and Brad to visit my great grandparent’s gravesites. Nearby is also a number of other family members so we ended up visiting many family members and it made my Dad and Brad remember a lot of old stories and that was really fun.

I spent the afternoon getting all of the little thing that I needed to bring from the states. Some underwear as always, shoes and some spices. I also went to this little store and got a bunch of little toys for the kids. We were most excited for the water balloons, water guns and kites. I mean, I bought really cheap stuff so I am sure that it will break but oh well.


Leslie Limon said...

Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry for your loss! I love the fact that your family gathered to "celebrate" your grandmother's life. Again, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

lefobserver said...

Hello from Greece.

Chrissy y Keith said...

Welcome home! I was at the funeral of one of my girlfriends last week. We had known each other since the 3rd grade. Although it was a sad occasion, the rest of us girflriends found time to laugh and recall the good ol' days. It looks like you and the family where able to do the same.

Mama of 4 said...

Sorry for your loss by glad you had a great time with your family, and glad your back ;)

A Wonderful Life! said...

It looks like you had a nice visit with family. DO you find it hard to be so far away from them or no? Do you prefer the us to Mexico living?

Design by Blogger Templates