Thursday, April 6, 2017

Gram's Funeral

Sometime last December we were talking about our summer trip to Utah, and Luke simply said, "Mom, we won't be going to see Gram."  We went back and forth a few times, as I reminded him that yes we sure would see Gram, but I didn't know if we'd be staying with her.  After the third time of "NO MOM, we are NOT going to see Gram in Utah!" I asked why.  His response was silencing and a bit comical at the time: "Because Mom, Gram will be in the cemetery by then."  


I don't know where that came from, and I don't assume that he actually had any insight other than Gram is old and old people die, but it turns out that boy was right.

Gram had struggled for a while, but didn't let us know much.  She never wanted to cause worry and certainly didn't want a fuss being made over her.  My mom had been up to Utah to check on her and could see how hard it was for Gram to do the most basic things.  It took her over an hour to get dressed sometimes.  Lots of things were hard.  We just about had her convinced to come to California for a very long visit, but she got talked out of it.

So, Gram passed peacefully in her sleep.  The best way to go, right?

But she had the worst timing!  The funeral would have to be the same week Kristina was due to have baby Connor.  Our house was about to go on the market.  It was just a crazy time.  My mom left immediately for Utah to begin making funeral arrangements and to assume the responsibilities of executor of the estate.  Originally we planned for our whole family to drive, but after days of stress (both house and funeral related) it just made sense for me to fly by myself.  As much as I would have loved to surround Nana with her little ones, I knew that being able to focus on just her and give help without distraction was the best option to take.

And poor Nana.  She was the target of so much greed (and therefore unbelievable anger -- I mean it, you really wouldn't believe how bad it was) from folks who seemed far more interested in Gram's stuff than they did about all of the love she had selflessly given for decades.  It was just heartbreaking to hear such mean things said about my Gram from people who claimed to love her and had just attended her funeral service.  Losing your mama is hard enough, and my sweet mom had been taken through the ringer.  She is one strong lady.

The funeral itself, however, could not have been sweeter.  So many adoring sentiments were shared.  I delivered Kristina's beautiful words that she wrote, and then shared some thoughts of my own.  Gram would have been uncomfortable with the all the attention directed at her, but she is so deserving.

It just didn't seem right that Kristina wasn't there, so I burned up all of the data on my phone and face timed her in at the cemetery.  And it was pretty great that I snuck in some Connor time too.  Look at that cute boy smiling at his Auntie!

We spent the day after the funeral cleaning out and work, work, working.  The stats on my watch tell a story of a day where I literally did not sit down or leave the house.

But I was so glad to be there!  Helping, serving, and putting all of the energy you have into something is exactly how Gram operated.  In her prime, she would have done it faster and more efficiently I'm sure, but it still felt good as I worked to think, "I can work this hard, because I'm Gram's girl, and she is a part of me."

Monday, April 3, 2017

March's Bits

 Noah had a great time celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday.  Each one of these kids is so sweet, and I love that our paths cross at church and at school.
 Luke and Elyse didn't want to be left out of the picture taking.  They have become buddies as they wait for their kindergarten siblings at pick up time.
 Luke found a grasshopper when we were out shopping.  He thought it was incredibly cool, insisted on taking a picture to show dad, and then freaked out as it started to crawl up his arm.

Noah got his second trimester report card.  I just loved and appreciated Mrs. Chan's comments.  He is such a good boy.
 Leah loves being on the move.  One day as we were playing outside she went in the house, found her coat, and brought it out to me.  This smart girl knows in cold weather, you've got to have a coat.  Love it!
 Chasing her around during baseball games keeps us busy and distracted, but Leah is a girl whose exploring cannot be contained!

 Just maintaining her 'Rascal Baby' status right here.

 And see that box?  We're getting our house ready to sell.  So I've been trying to pack up the things we don't use much to clear out the clutter.  I love this girl, but she makes getting a project done almost impossible sometimes.

Nate declared it was Pizza Night one Saturday and got to work making dinner with the boys.

We celebrated Kate's birthday and Leah was so excited when Kate shared one of her birthday crowns.

I thought you didn't play baseball in the rain, but Noah's game just kept going until all of the innings were over.  We were soaked.  I was annoyed and Luke was happy as could be.
 I've probably asked a hundred times to not sit in this basket.  After asking Luke to please, once again, remove himself he responded with, "No, Mom I can't! We're playing Jesus. I'm James being a fisher of men like Jesus (Noah) told me to be."  Carry on then.

Family Math Night at Noah's school was a success and the boys loved their first try at Connect Four.

Leah had her first visit to the dentist.

Luke had his first cavity.  It's actually the first cavity for any of the kids in this family.  He is a cooperative, interested kid, but the unfamiliarity of the sounds and poking around in his mouth made for one scared, anxious kid.  Tears just streamed down his face as he tried to hold still despite being afraid.  So naturally, all of that warranted a sprinkle donut when we were done.  I love that brave little boy and his numb cheek so much!

Noah had a mole removed from his face.  This was while we were waiting for the topical and injectable numbing medications to take effect.  Life is good and waiting is never a problem for this boy when he's got an iPad in hand.
This is the after with skin glue on top of stitches. The doctor just kept saying he couldn't believe how cooperative and still this amazing six year old was during the whole procedure.  That's just Noah.

It's going to take months for the scarring to fade and even out with his skin color, but hopefully the whole thing will be hardly noticeable by this time next year.  Choosing to scar your kid's face is a stressful decision!