This has indeed been a long week, and I would enjoy visiting with you over coffee (or, in my case, charcoal-filtered water). Toddy coffee is available, fruit juices, hot tea… Help yourself! I think that Al’s even got some chocolate chip cookies that were left over from the memorial gathering on Friday evening. I doubt that there was anything left over from Dad’s 100th birthday party on Saturday morning, but we did not stay to help with clean-up at the assisted living center.
We were there, however, for family photographs at the birthday party. We were only missing 12 family members (and three spouses) for the photos, although my youngest brother and his wife arrived late, after the larger group picture was taken.
The sharing of memories at the end of the memorial gathering on Friday was marvelous. The five of us siblings who thought we could hold it together, told about the ways that Mother impacted our individual lives and helped to shape our growth and paths through life. Matt, the youngest, decided not to chance it, and the oldest son waded through with pauses for tears and sobbing. Some of Mom’s friends were there, and some of those also went up to the lectern to talk about their own relationship and interactions with her.
I must tell you that the funeral home found an organist for us, so we got to sing The Navy Hymn to close the sharing of memories. We are all of us singers. Mother (Navy) and Father (Army) both served in the Pacific during WW II.
All six of us made it home for the interment and brief graveside military service, my sister flying in from New England, and one of the brothers, from northern California. We stayed over for Dad’s birthday party, thinking that this just might be the last time the six of us will be together.
Thank you for letting me share this weekend with you. I am off, now, to feed the puppies and wash some dishes.
P.S. Don’t forget to stop by Part Time Monster Blog, our host Diana’s site, with her post and the linkup button.