Tuesday, September 25, 2012

After the service.

 So good with children!

 Clark chatting with Lloyd, grandfather's brother

I know this is a scary one to leave off with, but it's one of my favorites...


I only grabbed a couple of pictures at the graveside ceremony for my grandfather-- I didn't want to be insensitive.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Catch up if you can

I've never had three weeks quite like these last ones. Hundreds (okay, thousands) of pictures are swirling around my computer (which happens to be a sweet new Mac, by the way... ;-) ) waiting to be shown to the outside world. They include Hannah getting her first views of the ocean, all of us rocking the biggest bonfire we've ever seen, me learning to drive a stick shift on the beach... Gabriel quote: "Um, emi, what you mean, drive a stick? How can sticks be drove?"
Also pictured: A family photo that includes one more than last year-- Wes and Meghann are expecting!!!!!!!!! I'm so thrilled. Can't even express how happy it makes me! This year was fun. For at least two of the days, stress disappeared and we had quite a grand time. But how can you not, with two cases of Izzes, three of Frappuccinos, several more of Root Beer and Cream Soda, not to mention Vitamin Water. It's treat time at the Sandpiper! I promise that those pictures will eventually make their way here. A horrid combination of sand and wind prohibited me from snapping off as many as I wanted-- in fact, it was quite terrifying to look down and realize that little grains of grime were working their way into my lens. "Hey meme, take a picture of that kid being cute!" "Uhhh I can't, gotta go back up to the room RIGHT now!!" So much for catching that day's adventures on the beach.
The day we got back, company came in, for Whitney's wedding, which happened to be the next day. Although I was in it, I still have plenty of pictures, thanks to a camera-obsessed cousin who forgot his, so played with mine instead all day. No objections here.
It's been non stop. Three days after we got back, people asked how vacation was, and all I could think was, "Vacation? What vacation?"
My grandfather started declining even more severely the week we were gone, and wasn't able to come to Whit and Lee's wedding.  (Yes, I did burst into tears when the photographer talked about taking pictures of the grandparents.)
Family stayed in after the wedding, waiting to see how things went with him. Four days ago his kidneys shut down, and on Monday morning at 1:15, he died. We had all been there for hours the day before, but had gone home in the evening. A few days beforehand, he was pretty unresponsive, besides being able to squeeze my hand-- he could clearly still hear our words. A week before that, his very last words to me were clearly enunciated and always remembered-- "I love you, Emi."
 In some ways, we started grieving quite a while ago. It broke my heart when I realized that I'd never see him in his own home again. Never hear him telling me about a cool mini-14 he had in a bullpup housing, then pull a .357 out of the side of his armchair to show us the custom work he'd done.... Yes, that was my grandfather. It's strange to me that he's not there. He's always been there. There has always been the chance to go visit them. He bought me my first Harmonica, and tried valiantly to show me how to play it. (Yeah, that didn't work out so well, but I still have it! And occasionally try to play it... My poor family.) He was there the first time I ever shot a gun. He drilled the safety rules into me WAY before I ever touched a weapon. He made the best smoked cheese and salmon that I'd ever had. He knew a lot about an incredible amount of things. I mean, who else could tell you how much colloidal silver was safe to drink, how helpful ginseng was for natural health, and had built their own hyperbaric chamber? And how many people do you know who managed to run an old Nissan halfway on french fry oil?.... True story.
He'd gotten his pilot's license and would fly to the coast for a haircut,  and survived a pretty severe motorcycle accident. He was an artistic craftsman who made some cool leather holsters and sheaths for knives, among other things.
Obviously, there were conversations regarding the religious and political stuff (only in the last 15 or 20 years-- before that things were much more even and solid) that I would never care to repeat, but when he would tell me stories about when he was younger, it was enchanting. "Well now, the best thing about the Good 'Ol Days, is that.... They're gone."
There are a lot of things I'll miss about him. I already do. This week has been strange, working on funeral plans, and keeping amazingly busy. It's all going to catch up to me at the funeral though, I know it for sure. Please continue to pray for our family. For my aunts and mom while they plan things and take care of everything. For my grandma. For all of us. 
Six daughters, 14 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, with three more on the way. (Unless I've miscounted.)

Here's the video I made to be played at the funeral. By now you should probably pause the music playing over on the right hand side.