funeral

Family, Memories, Goodbyes

This weekend was a whirlwind of traveling, family and emotions. Friday we drove up to Seattle for the weekend. Originally it was just for my grandma’s 95th birthday party. But with my other grandma’s recent passing away we were also there for her memorial.

It snowed a little bit in Portland and Seattle on Thursday and Friday but thankfully the freeways were clear enough to drive up there. There was still quite a bit of snow at my parent’s house, though! We stopped for lunch in Longview, WA (got Mexican food and they surprised us with some ice cream at the end!) and then drove the rest of the way to Seattle without having to stop. Logan did great in the car!

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Friday night Michael went out with a friend who lives in Seattle and I hung out with my parents. My brother Andy flew in from Philly for the weekend so it was great to see him, too!

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Saturday was pretty low-key. I had intended on going to the gym in the morning but I was still coughing pretty badly from my month-long bronchitis so I decided to skip it and just rest for a few more days.

Around lunch time my aunt showed up to put together Grammy’s flowers for her party. My aunt Sheila used to own a floral business and she does an amazing job with flowers! She got 95 roses for my grandma’s 95th birthday. 🙂

My mom and brother worked on making the snacks for the party and Michael and I drove to Dick’s to pick up burgers for everyone for lunch. 😀

Finally it was time for the party! One of my aunts put together a bunch of old pictures to put on display. I love seeing old photos of my grandma:
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She was so stylish! She looked like a movie star in her old photos. The cake turned out nice:

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There were red roses everywhere for the party. So pretty!

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The theme was a tea party! Everyone was supposed to wear a hat. My cousin Anna brought some extra ones, and she has some pretty awesome fancy hats, for everyone.

Hahaha!
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Look at my Grammy sneaking a little bit of frosting off her cake:

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I love how this photo turned out:

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Me and my brother:

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My aunt made a little speech and then we sang happy birthday and she blew out her candles. She seemed SO happy!

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It was such a good party! Everything turned out so nice. There was a bunch of her favorite foods and little finger sandwiches–sparkling cider, tea, coffee. A ton of family came and a bunch of my grandma’s friends and her old neighbors came by. It was so sweet how many people came to wish her happy birthday.

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My little dude was a rockstar, too. He got passed around and wasn’t freaked out by so many people. And we got some good photos with his great-grammy.

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After the party we hung out at my parent’s house with pizza, some beer and sports on TV.

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Sunday morning was the memorial for my Grandma Mary. It turned out to be a really, really nice service. My dad’s friend was the officiant and I got to see everyone on my dad’s side of the family. Most of them I haven’t seen since my wedding.

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The service was so beautiful. A bunch of got up to talk and share stories and memories of her. I’m really glad I had typed up what I wanted to say so I could just read it because I don’t think I could have gotten through it otherwise.

After the service there was a little reception with lunch. We got to talk and catch up and spend some quality time with family. My aunt Chris had this book made of old photos and I loved looking through it–funny how much my brother looks like my dad!

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We had hoped to hang around a little bit longer and spend more time with everyone but unfortunately Logan was coming down with something and had his first fever on Sunday. It got pretty high and we wanted to get home to get to the doctor before they closed. So we said our goodbyes and hit the road.

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We picked up Bella at her foster mom’s house (she was so happy to have a little weekend party of her own!) and then I took Logan to the doctor and got him some medicine. He’s doing better now but it was kind of scary when his fever got so high.

It was a wonderful weekend. Ups and downs, happiness and sadness. It was so amazing seeing both sides of the family and spending so much time with them, but also bittersweet because part of it was for saying goodbye to my Grandma Mary.

Seattle Solo Trip

Sunday afternoon I drove up to Seattle to spend a few days with my mom and to go to my great Aunt Mary’s funeral. She passed away last month at the age of 95! She lived a really long, full life and had three kids and one grandkid. I love hearing the old stories my grandma would tell. The two of them lived together (unheard of at the time) in their twenties instead of getting married. They went traveled together and went on road trips and best of all went DANCING! Every night! My grandma was quite the dancer. 🙂

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It’s so cool to hear those old stories because that wasn’t the norm in the 1930’s and 1940’s…women left their parent’s house and immediate moved into their husband’s house. While I was visiting I got to see some old photos of my grandparents on their wedding day:

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My grandmother recently moved into an apartment, after living in the house she had with my grandpa for something like 62 years! Change is hard. I think the rest of the family is having a harder time with her moving than she is! She seems to be loving her new posh pad (which my aunt decorated gorgeously!).

So Sunday I got into town and my mom and I went to see my grandma at her new place and then met my aunt (the talented decorator) for dinner at the Bengal Tiger Indian restaurant. I rarely eat Indian food because Michael’s not a fan (same story with my mom–my dad doesn’t like it so she never eats it) so it was a nice treat to go out!

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I have no idea what we ordered now. But it was delicious! I had a little bit of everything. Monday morning I got up and went to the gym. Then my mom and I spent the day puttering around. I went to see my other grandmother who is in a nursing home and we did some stuff around Seattle, and then got to go through some of the old family heirlooms. Like this gem:

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My great-grandfather went to the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962 and had his fortune read. 🙂 My great grandfather was actually quite the writer. He used to keep journals and there were many many (too many to count) volumes of his journals that he actually COPIED for all of his 7 children so they’d have a copy. And by copy I mean hand-written. Before xerox. He re-wrote every single journal (and I think there were like 25 or 30 of them in each set). As a teenager I actually went through my grandmother’s copies and tried to read them. My plan was to transcribe them and type them up but I don’t know that I ever finished and I don’t know what happened to what I worked on. Some of it was difficult to read, too.

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But he also kept journals of newspaper clippings. Like this one:

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He got married on Ground Hog’s Day 1916 during “the big snow.” 🙂 I find this stuff SO fascinating! I would LOVE to go through all the old journals and books of newspaper clippings.

Then we grabbed dinner at this magical place:

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Tuesday was the funeral. They were saying the rosary at 10:30 and the funeral mass started at 11. It didn’t finish until nearly 1pm and then there was a lunch at the church. It was a REALLY nice service and the Eulogy was written and read by Mary’s son Pat. He did a great job. Mary’s daughter, Margaret, was actually the person who took me to my first ever concert! She was the cool older cousin (I guess my second cousin?) who my mom and dad gave permission to take me and my group of friends. Man, times have changed haven’t they? But I think I was 14 and Margaret took us and we all had a great time (White Zombie, L7, The Melvins, and Babes In Toyland was the concert!!).

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Anyways, Mary is in the left, my grandma is on the right. I remember going to Aunt Mary’s house as a kid in the summertime because she had a swimming pool! In Seattle!! Which was unheard of it. But as kids we’d go over there and splash around and she’d make us lemonade and lunch and she was always so sweet and gentle. That’s how I remember her, very sweet.

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I took those photos a few years ago at our family reunion. When both Mary and my grandma busted out the harmonicas and started playing. The funeral was really nice and mostly positive. She’d lived such a long, full life, it is hard to be sad but I’m still a little sad. And sad for my grandma that she lost her sister.

I didn’t end up staying for the St. Patrick’s Day party after the funeral (Aunt Mary always threw a big party) which was disappointing but I had a long drive back to Portland and wanted to miss Seattle rush-hour AND Portland traffic if I could. I said my goodbyes and hit the road. It was a good trip and I’m glad I got to spend some quality time with family.