Monday, June 23, 2014

Bidding Farewell

Lois Grace Barlow and Shirley "Red" Augustus Barlow, Jim's paternal grandparents, both passed away within the last year. It was decided that they would have a combined memorial service for the two of them at a later date, ensuring that as much as the family could be there.

His grandparents lived in Duanesburg, New York and raised their children there, so we packed up and hit the road for New York! What a beautiful place.... surrounded by the Catskill Mountains, so lush and green.

We stayed with Abbey, Jim's cousin, and her husband, Mick, and four children. She lives in a beautiful old farmhouse, that they've completely renovated, right next to her father's dairy farm. Here's her chicken coop... they have MANY chickens, but I only caught a few in this picture. It certainly does not do it justice. When we left they sent us home with six dozen eggs!!!

Almost as soon as we pulled in, we had to go and see the cows!!
 Aunt Christine held a timid Ian, as he studied and met the baby calves. When he met the donkeys a few weeks before, he was fearless. He'd grab their nostrils and lips. This time was quite different. He'd carefully eye the calves and then, if too close, he would let out a huge, upset squeal and throw his body back into the person holding him.
 Until the cows don't need their mother's milk anymore, after the first few months, they stay in these little huts. Afterward, they move to a grassy field. As a breastfeeding mama, it was hard to see these babes separated from their moms.

 We had to get a picture of Ian under this sign... had to.
 Abbey & Mick have three cats and two of them have awesome haircuts to help with staying cool and the shedding of fur. There's a poof on the end of their tails and a mane around their heads. This is Bruce, the most social of their cats. What a character. Ian enjoyed crawling around after him...
 Thank you SOOOO much for having us, Abbey and Mick! It was wonderful to get to know you and the other family members up there just a little better. We look forward to spending more time with you all one day soon. Thank you for your warm hospitality!

The memorial service was held with the same church family where Jim's dad, John, and his siblings were raised. John officiated the service, which was part of his parents' wishes. It was a beautiful ceremony.
John, Dave, Marie, Rich, & Carol
(Youngest ---> Oldest)
Children & Significant others
And some of the grandchildren & families!

After the service we drove over to the internment, which was a beautiful drive about an hour away. 

As we walked up to where they'd be buried, Jim was hit with the smell of wild thyme. Smell has such a powerful way of bringing back memories and nostalgic feelings. According to Jim, wild thyme was a signature smell of Grammy & Grampy's yard. Apparently, it is native to that area. Uncle Dave told me that Grampy would allow wild thyme to go to seed before he'd mow the lawn, to encourage the spreading of the plant. He just loved wild thyme.

It's never easy to say goodbye to family members. Their home and warmth is missed. They are certainly missed. Hearing the stories and sharing old memories was a wonderful way to get to know them even better. I look forward to hearing more stories about them as Ian gets older and the family continues to share them with him. One day we'll all be together again.

Rest in peace, Grammy & Grampy. We love you.

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