Well it has been an eventful week and a half since I last posted. On Friday March 28th we began a journey that would cover miles and a lot of emotion. On that Friday we headed north to LaConnor, Washington for Matt's Grandma's memorial service. We stopped at his sister's in Lynnwood for a short while to visit with them and Matt's parents. After a day of packing and then driving through snow, sleet, rain and wind it was a nice break. We got to play with our nephew and the kids got a chance to unwind a bit before we went to our hotel for the night. The hotel room as typical and rather boring. Luckily there was free wireless available so we were able to get online and check out our favorite internet haunts.
Saturday morning dawned cold and foggy with some snow on the ground. What was with this weather? Snow, even that far north, is extremely unusual for the last days of March! However, by the time we were ready to head over to Grandma's house, where everyone was gathering prior to Mass, the clouds were clearing and the sun was making an appearance. It was nice to gather together as a family to say goodbye to this courageous woman who had fought long and hard against a guaranteed death sentence of lung cancer. It was also gratifying to see how the community gathered to show what she meant to them. The hardest part of the entire week, save the service itself, was Sunday as we cleared out and divided up Grandma's belongings. It is so sad how quickly a life of 82 years can be dismantled and given away. By the time we all left, the house was cleared out.
We arrived home after a long but ultimately uneventful trip and unloaded all our new treasures. We still need to retrieve a wooden rocker that was NOT going in that van anywhere.
Monday morning the girls returned to school for the first day back from spring break while I prepared for our trip south. I ran some errands, got a substitute for our workday at preschool on Tuesday, repacked clothes and made a dinner for the road. After finishing up these chores, making sure the animals were fed and everything turned off and locked up we headed out to meet up with Matt at work. After picking him up, we tuned the radio to the Oregon State baseball game and turned the car toward the south. We arrived in Myrtle Point, Oregon at around 9:30 p.m. The kids were wound up and it took some time to get everyone settled down to sleep. When the alarm went off at 6 it was way too early. We all got up and got ready. This was going to be a hard day so I loaded my pockets with tissue packets. We met my parents and brother at Frazier's in Coquille for breakfast. The morning started out cold and foggy but during the time we were eating it cleared. By the time we headed to the cemetery the sun was shining and it was actually warm enough that I left my coat in the car. We were the first to arrive other than the funeral director. It was very difficult to see that hearse, to know that my grandmother was in there. If I have one regret, it is that I did not call her in those final days and say goodbye but I know in my heart that she knew how much I love her. The arrangements were all Grandma, bright, vibrant and many colors. Grandma loved her flowers and nutured them like her children. It was amazing to see all the people who gathered to say goodbye. The service was short and very Grandma. The hardest moment came when it was time to drive away. As we were the first to arrive, too were we the last to leave.
The reception was held at my Uncle Joe's house. It was the first time in years that all of us cousins, 9 of us, have been together in one place. We shared stories and laughs. A little wine made it easier at first but as the day and evening wore on it was just nice to be together. The trip home was late and long but we made it safely. The girls did well heading back to school and their routine on Wednesday. I spent the day just recovering. Now it is time to scrap the pictures, tell the story one last time and put this time behind me. We will all remember though.