Sunday, May 22, 2016


Last weekend was my grandma's memorial service. The little boys and I drove up to Paris and then up to NW Pennsylvania with my dad. Dad had some plants he wanted to drop off at our cabin prior to heading to where we would be staying for the weekend. When he pulled off the interstate, both boys and I were sleeping soundly. We could have made it to my aunt's without stopping, but Dad insisted on going by way of the cabin, which would take a bit longer.

I'm so glad he did.

When we got to the cabin, there in the front was a bed of blue flowers.
We never get to the cabin in the month of May. Our time there is usually in the summer months of June through August. It was a total surprise to us to find this beautiful blue blanket. Not only that, but three different kinds of blue-ish flowers greeted us there.

Dad and I were thrilled. These flowers were a perfect memoriam of Grandma. It was fitting that on her memorial weekend, these flowers were thriving. She's now in a better place, a place where all things have been made new again.

And these flowers were a sure sign that she was and is with us.
My mom and siblings arrived the next day. They, too, swung by the cabin. When Mom arrived she said, "You know what those flowers are called? Forget-me-nots."
So, so beautiful.
In the place where I have a million and one memories with my grandma, there she was, still with us.
Certainly never to be forgotten.
She surrounded us that day at The Pinery.

It really moved my dad.
The whole weekend was just as Grandma would have wanted it. 
Our family trekked in from Florida, Virginia, and Pittsburgh. 
We had a huge gathering down at their old house, where my cousin lives now.

We sat around a campfire and shared laughs.
Then, on Saturday, we all wore our finest blue, her favorite color, and went to the church to celebrate and remember her.

Many of us sang "I'll Fly Away" as the final prelude song, my dad played a beautiful folk hymn called "Resignation" with the lyrics to Psalm 29, my uncle Mark played a flute piece she requested be played at her memorial, my uncle Eric and his wife did the remarks, and my aunt Beth led the choir (and anyone else who wanted to join in) in a final piece called "Go Ye Now in Peace." The memorial was full of music and it was so beautiful to watch her children each offer something to the service. She was one beloved mother.

"Borning Cry", the hymn, took me down to tears, as it always does. Whew.
Top L-R: Phoebe, Mom, Matt, Uncle Mark, Aunt Charlene, Aunt Beth, Julie, Jake, Aunt Charlotte, Kaelen, Izzy, Willem, Aunt Aimee, Uncle Eric, Lisa. Bottom: Dad, Owen, Ian, Me, Hazel, Heidi. Four generations.
After the service, the whole family returned to the compound (where my aunt, cousin, and grandparents live/lived) and much of the family had a sharing time. Some goodbyes were said before everyone rested for the afternoon.

That night we all went out to dinner, sitting at a very long table in a restaurant. Grandma's treat.
This summer we'll hopefully all reconvene on the river for another celebration of Grandma's life and a little family reunion. Stories will be told, dirty jokes she loved and would love, music, and a whole lot of warmth.

We never took a full photo of all of the cousins, but here's who was left on Sunday morning. Missing three cousins and a second cousin, my bro & sis and Marianne & Annie.
I'm so grateful for a very talented, funny, caring family. There's never a dull moment with this crew. 

A legacy of my grandma and grandpa. Never to be forgotten. 

Those blue Forget-Me-Nots have a totally new association for me now.

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