I'm finally back and I've missed my blog and bloggie friends soooo much! I hope you've missed me, too;)
My grandma passed away early Saturday morning and the funeral was Tuesday morning. My brother, husband and I made our way to Iowa early Sunday morning because of some other obligations we had that weekend (me-Zumba; B-basketball game). We were in Iowa for three and half days and although there were sad parts, our 50-person family was all there and we laughed at the good times and comforted each other as well. It was really awesome to all be there together for that long!
I learned a lot about funerals as well. Even though both my mom and dad come from huge families, I've been lucky enough to not have to go to many funerals. The last family funeral I went to was when I was 19 (I'm 29 now) and it was my great-grandfather. I really don't remember much about it either.
The first thing I learned about funerals is there is a lot of food....everywhere.....and there is a never-ending supply of it!
This is the kitchen island when I first got there Sunday. The whole fridge was full and the back kitchen counter. My grandparents have lived in their Iowa town for over 50 years and in the general vicinity their whole lives. They were heavily involved in the community, hosted foreign exchange students, donated money to various local charities, so they were a big part of the community. I could really feel the love as person after person stopped in at my grandpa's house to give food and condolescenses!
During the visitation Monday evening, we counted around 700 people visiting the funeral home to pay their respects to my grandma! At one time the line out the funeral home was three blocks long! My grandma would be blushing over the "fuss" that was given to her, but what a wonderful way to go out! It made me realize what a wonderful lady she was!
And a big thing I learned about funerals is to be there for the remaining family of the deceased. I've never really thought about it, but if I had a friend with a loved one that passed, I would now send a plant, or give a card with money to a memorial-something! I've received so much love through my blog, email, Facebook, work, phone calls, texts-everywhere! I feel truly blessed to have such great friends! In fact, I got this wonderful bouquet from my BFF Sarah today at work, just to brighten up my first day back to work!
She's the best!
I took sooo many pictures of family time, but I just want to share a few. I really have the neatest family. I've never met anyone who has such a large family (around 50) that is so close. If something happens to one of us, the rest of the family would know by the end of the day! My grandma was the center of that family, so we'll just have to try extra hard to stay as close as we are, but I don't think it will be too hard!
My cousin Lauren with my pretty mom!
My dad with a little cabbage patch doll!
My dad and I watching some wrestling with my cousins.
Family photo! This is the actual clan: Dad, bro Adam, husband B, my mom and I. This is right before the visitation.
My brother with our second cousin Blakely
(aka, the cutest kid EVER!)
(aka, the cutest kid EVER!)
My cousin Lauren and cousin Olivia with sleeping me! The whole week has been sooo emotionally draining I think I snuck in a nap whenever I could! But let's face it, I love napping-funeral or not!
This was a wine cooler left in the fridge from my grandma. She wasn't really a beer drinker like the rest of the family so grandpa always kept a wine cooler in the fridge for her. I thought it fitting to drink that for her-I think she would have liked that! The reason I took a picture of it was because my cousin Keith asked, why are you pouring that into a styrofoam cup and drinking it? Ha-I really had no idea! I usually drink my beverages straight from the bottle! But I was pouring it from the bottle, into the cup, into my mouth. I should have really cut out the middle man!
Do you have a large of small family? Are you close with them? When is the last time you all got together?
Desserted Tip of the Day: Do you have a hard time getting in your recommended 8 glasses of water a day? Try cutting up a whole lemon, lime or orange into wedges at the beginning of the week and throwing in a few slices to a water bottle every day before you go to work. It sounds very simple (which it is!) but it really add a little sumpin' to your water to help you gulp it down!