Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm home.

I got home Monday night from Grandma's funeral in Illinois. I'm so glad we went, but I really missed Michael & the kids so much, I was so glad to be home. Mom sprained her knee the day before we left which added a challenge to the trip of dealing with a wheelchair & both of our carry-ons in the airports (the plane changing in Atlanta was particularly, um, challenging, to say the least).

Grandma lived in a small town just outside of Peoria. I've only been back to visit one time since we moved to Florida when I was 11, and that was with Michael & the kids in 2000. Although thankfully Grandma came to visit Mom every year, out of mom's 1 brother & 3 sisters and my 5 surviving cousins (one died in a car accident several years ago) and all their spouses & kids, I only know one cousin & her family fairly well. Plus, both Grandma & Grandpa both came from large families, so there were loads of my mom's aunts, uncles and cousins there as well. You get the point, LOTS of unfamiliar family. It's kind of an odd dynamic.

Even though I knew Grandma pretty well from her visits, I usually saw her when she was on a vacation so I didn't see her in "her element" very often, but I heard so much what a hard-working, independent woman she was. The pastor at her service said she had a "servant's soul" and while some people might think that may be derogatory to say, I thought it was so fitting for her. She had such a strong faith in God, but she didn't preach it so much as live it every day. She was really the most unassuming woman I've ever met, never wanting to be the center of attention, but getting things done behind the scenes. I'm very proud to be her granddaughter.

The service on Saturday was beautiful. My fave cousin's daughter sang a really lovely rendition of Amazing Grace (that girl can SING... a talent that clearly missed my side of the family). The weather at the cemetary was perfect, unseasonably warm for them, just like a Florida fall for me. After the lunch at the church, my mom's siblings & spouses sat on my aunt's porch & told some wonderful stories. I was the only one of my generation there for most of the time, so I just sat back and listened. You learn a lot that way.

Sunday, Mom & I took a drive out to the farm outside of town where she grew up and did a little tour of her old haunts, then we went to my aunt's house and sorted through some of Grandma's old pictures. Although I think of Illinois as being very flat, the area where Mom grew up is pretty hilly & although I was told the folliage was past its' peak, to this Florida girl it was really beautiful. It was a really nice day.

Michael held the fort down here really well. He even had some delicious homemade pumkin chili waiting when I got home... that HE found the recipe for on the internet. He took Ben trick-or-treating and even did the vampire make-up. I'll post some pictures later.

I'm so glad to be HOME!!!

1 comment:

Joanne said...

So glad your home!! I'm not sure Erin would do as well as Michael did! What a super Dad !