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    Entries in funerals (4)


    Apart, But Not Separate

    Another memorial service behind us, the family drifting back to their lives and homes, our sons driving and flying away. 

    It was good to be together, and GB enjoyed time with his brothers, nieces, nephews, cousins, and an aunt.  Texas is even hotter today than the days before, but not unbearable.  There have been moments cool enough to sit out in the courtyard.  A couple of crows (since one is noticeably smaller than the other, I think I mean couple in the mated sense) have become enamored with the backyard and we’ve enjoyed their antics.  My mother-in-law has graciously allowed me to stay with her all this week, and GB is on the road home.

    For several generations now, as our society has become more mobile, leaving home means more than just moving into a place across town.  Young people are continuing their education, getting married, starting careers, and embarking on adventures, mostly away from their parents and childhood homes.  Away, as in more than just a few miles.  I consider our technological advancements a ‘mixed bag’ - it’s great that we can chitchat (even face-to-face) with our family no matter where in the world they live; but there is also a trend toward techno-relationships, which replaces close-proximity, deeper contact.  It’s hard to read body language and facial expressions over the phone, or via email, facebook chats, or Instant Messaging.  Nuances of conversation are lost or scrambled as they travel over wire and through the atmosphere.  Short dialogues, superficial interactions, have replaced long, into-the-night, conversations.  Yes, I’ve had many wonderful phone chats, full of meaning and importance.  But, Up Close and Personal can never be replaced by the next generation iPhone.

    Watching, and engaging in, the family interaction these past few days reminded me of the importance of catching-up.  It’s great if folks can pick up where they left off, when last in each other’s company.  The importance of family gatherings, as well as friend time, has been discussed more than once on this site, but it’s never more evident than when witnessed first-hand.  I would encourage you all to take advantage of opportunities to be with family and friends.  If you can’t always be close, then do avail yourself of our techy blessings - talking with good friends on the other side of the world has never been more easy!


    Amblings, possibly Ramblings

    I’m always surprised at how much hotter it is in Texas.  Well, not always hotter than Tulsa.  And since our home in Northwest Arkansas is almost due east of Tulsa, that seems strange.  More trees in our area?  More hills, less humidity?  Hhmmm…  The air conditioner runs all the time and I even want some ice in my water.  A nephew from my side of the family is in New Mexico for the summer.  Maybe it’s hotter there than here.  Maybe.

    Aldo’s funeral is Friday afternoon and family is already starting to gather.  Three of the four sons are here, as well as one daughter-in-law (me!); another daughter-in-law stopped by on her way to Tulsa from Houston (her father is having a medical procedure tomorrow) and a daughter, two granddaughters, and one great-granddaughter live here.  More family will arrive throughout the day tomorrow, including our sons - one flying in from NYC and the other driving in from western TN.

    It’s late, with GB and his two brothers conversing the night away as I sit typing.  They only see one another a couple of times a year, so no time is wasted sleeping.  While our children were visiting us last week, we drove down here to see my in-laws.  We are so very glad we did.  Just a few days after we left, Aldo slipped away to his heavenly home.

    It was so great to have our little family together for a week.  We miss our sons very much and are so proud of them.  We are thankful for our daughter-in-law and loved the time spent getting to know her even better.  Besides our trip to Texas, we went bowling with the extended family, had a family fun night at my parents, prepared a home feast of shrimp and scallops, and spent many hours talking.  The highlight, for GB and me, was an anniversary dinner gift from the kids.  They took us out for a fine, fine meal of excellent hors d’oeuvres, steak, seafood, trimmings, and dessert.  I must say that it was the best steak I’ve ever had.  No offense to GB’s grilling skills, but it was excellent.  Grilled asparagus and roasted brussel sprouts were my vegetable choices, and the steak was topped with a dollop of truffle butter.  We also enjoyed salmon, ahi tuna egg rolls, and fried calamari for our pre-meal feast.  I chose homemade blackberry ice cream with English walnuts for dessert.  Wowser!

    I think there are several morals to these amblings and possible ramblings - enjoy life.  Go with the flow.  “Mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who rejoice.”  Count your blessings.  Be thankful.


    Another Passage

    Another ending.  Well, a beginning for the one who has left us here.  Another ending, meaning, “So ends this life, May 31, 2011”.  Ending this earthly life to begin eternal life.

    GB’s stepfather passed away around midnight, at his home in Texas.  Is it true, the old saying?  “Death always comes in threes?”  Is it death, or is it just trouble, or general sorrow?  Can’t remember right now.  I don’t put much stock in ‘old sayings’, nor in ‘old wives’ tales’.  However, we will be going to a second funeral, less than two weeks after the first one.  And both close family members.  We experienced something of that last year.  GB’s uncle’s funeral was one day, and his aunt’s was the next.  They were brother-in-law and sister-in-law.

    Aldo and Dorothy were married 26 years.  She lost her first husband to cancer, GB’s dad.  Aldo suffered with many medical maladies, but died peacefully and painlessly.  A blessing for him, and for those who sat with him.  He gave our sons their first computer, a Commodore 64.  A popular computer these days, for those who can find them.  The boys programmed everything on that computer and learned so much.  Being from Argentina, Aldo exposed them, and us, to the wonderful Latin culture.  We have several great recipes he shared, full of fresh ingredients.  His mother was a fine cook, by all accounts, and we were glad to have met her over one Christmas.

    Shortly after they married, he became an American citizen, which made him proud.  Our sister-in-law cross-stitched a commemoration and he kept it, always, in the study.  Aldo loved to watch Jeopardy, and Spanish television.  He worked with the library as an English-Spanish translator; he loved to read and tinker around in his shop.

    Death is part of our life.  Meaning, we will experience the death of others and we should be preparing for our own.  We should not shy away from those facts, and we should share them with our children and grandchildren.  Families need to experience happy events together, and they should gather to say farewell to loved ones.  Children should be included, as is appropriate.  Meals taken together, conversation, sharing burdens - these are part of our living.  And part of how we face death.


    It is the will of God and Nature that these mortal bodies be laid aside, when the soul is to enter into real life; ‘tis rather an embrio state, a preparation for living; a man is not completely born until he be dead:  Why then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals? 

                                                                                                                                 ~Benjamin Franklin, 22 February 1756


    "honor to whom honor is due"

    It’s been a few days since I’ve been able to spend time on the site, and I apologize.  Our grandma left this life, peacefully, on the 19th and we are very happy for her.  Our visit to her the day before her passing now brings us even greater joy and I thank Daddy for taking us with him.  Her Memorial Service was yesterday and it was lovely.  A large group of family attended, as well as her church family and many friends.  It was fitting for us to honor her, as she lived a wonderful life of service and love.  There was lots of laughter, a few tears, as stories and memories were shared.  We had the opportunity to take pictures of family groups as we ate lunch together afterward.  Thank you to the Crosstown Church of Christ in Tulsa for taking such good care of us and to the minister and song leader for a great service. 

    Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”  Revelation 14:13

    We love her, Precious Pearl, we already miss her; but we will see her again.  Today’s journal pages are dedicated to grandma.  You can access them by clicking on the tabs across the top of this page - The Healthy Home, Kids at Home, and The Nourishing Home.  I hope you enjoy her wisdom as I pass it on to you.

     Grandma and we 3