My dear, sweet Grandma passed away this last February after a long, hard battle with breast cancer, and subsequent illnesses. I headed out to California for the funeral with a number of my family members, leaving behind Tadd (who had to work), and Samson (whom my awesome SIL, Lindey, offered to watch while Tadd was at work).
As much as I would've loved for my extended family to have met Samson, I am unbelievably grateful I didn't have to take him along on that 24 hour drive, round trip.
No matter the age, no matter the circumstances, it is always tough to bury a family member. What was even harder, was watching my daddy bury his mom. Our parents are our rocks, and they have strength beyond words. To see my parent break down in tears, and hurt along with the rest of us, broke my heart.
My dad loved his mom dearly, and never spoke ill of her. He has taught me so much about respecting my elders, and I only hope I can live up to the standard he has set for how we should treat our parents.
On the trip over to Northern California, Haley and I rifled through Grandma's jewelry boxes, and tried to call dibs on a number of items, although we'd be going through them with our aunts and cousins later.
A sweet bracelet of Grandma's three children's names and birth dates
Grams had some style! I inherited the button bracelet and the fishbone bracelet! How long until my "lovely" child lost the fishbone one? About 3 days.
Amazing cameo necklace Lauren snatched up
Cat ring holder! Of course I got that!
Haley left Addie behind, and took along Claire, who was beyond perfection! Sleeping almost the whole day, and then huge stretches at night!
Dad felt it was important that he and five of his six girls document our shoes at the funeral.
Nick n' Mal
Aunt Sue, Grandma's oldest, and her grandchillins
Aunt Lana, Grandma's sister, and her family
Cousin Andie married to Morgan with their kids, Bailey and Easton; Cousin Lindsay married to Norm with their kids Carter, Marin, and Brody; Aunt Sue, Cousin Chad married to Janeen with their kids Briggs, Olivia and Emily
Dad gave a beautiful talk at the gravesite, which had us all in tears. A moment I never want to forget was Dad standing next to his mother's grave speaking about her sweet spirit and the life she lived with such courage and love, and as he began getting choked up, struggling to speak, we watched his two sisters, Sue and Robin, simultaneously begin walking to him from across the gathering to stand by his side for courage and strength. So very touching.
At the luncheon afterward. I am not joking when I say Claire was out the whole trip!
Enjoying our extended family we don't often get to see over at Aunt Sue's.
As we rummaged through some more of Grandma's things (which was when I snatched up her awesome robe!), we came across a collage of her grandkids, and boy was I surprised to see how similar Samson and I looked at this age! All I ever hear, and all I believed, was how Sam is 100% Tadd, but turns out he's got a little bit of me in him (namely that giant head of ours).
All the family went out to Lorenzo's one evening, which is where Dad proposed to Mom!
We also drove past a number of other important landmarks in my parents first few years of dating/marriage, and drove past my mom and dad's house where I remember spending quite a bit of time as a child.
May I someday find this in my house...