March 4th (the day of the mustache party) was actually the viewing. After the lunch party we did naps with the kids then all piled in together and headed over to Phoenix for the family viewing at 4pm. Family had all gathered from far and wide. My aunt and uncle on their mission in Africa were even able to come back for it. We started with a family gathering where grandma greeted us and expressed thanks. She was composed and strong. I'm really very proud of her. She asked if anyone wanted to share anything about grandpa. I wanted to share how every time we got together he at least once talked about what a difference moving to AZ had made and how important family was. However, I was a bit emotional and Keith hadn't gotten there yet and I had to squirming kids. I may not have shared with the bunch, but I was grateful for sweet memories others shared. Then we were able to go in a mingle and see grandpa. I have to admit, not my favorite. They just don't look the same. It just didn't look like my grandpa and it was easier to close my eyes and see him smiling and talking to me. But, it was good. Ada was curious and asked why grandpa was sleeping in there. We were able to teach her about how when we die we get to go see Heavenly Father. Now anytime anyone says anything about him she says that he is with Heavenly Father now. So sweet.
I have never been to a military service before. It was very respectful and special. I was touched at how honored grandpa was by these men. I know it was protocol, but it made us feel proud of grandpa's service. They did the gun salute and everything.
I don't really know why but this part was very hard for me. I felt like it was official and over. This was the last of grandpa we would get. His flag meant it was over. It's a good thing and I know that, but it's so hard to accept sometimes. How can grandma and grandpa not be together? They are always together. I hate to see grandma trying to deal with this. I hate the thought of her being alone. It's just hard.
As we all packed up to head back to the luncheon Hansen's car wouldn't work. They had run out of gas. Dad took James to a gas station a mile up the road and we caught a ride with my 2nd cousins (Chuck and Cindy). The luncheon was wonderful. They even had cookies and ice cream which was grandpa's favorite dessert.
We then all headed back to Mesa. Teresa, Sherry and I went (with our families) back to mom's house for a little bit. We actually painted nails and tried to relax from a very emotional day. We talked about us moving in with grandma and they seemed supportive. Glad I have family to help bounce ideas around. We didn't stay long. We were tired and just wanted to go to sleep.
It was a challenging day. I'm grateful for a testimony that families are forever and that grandpa is safe and well. He is so lucky to have fought a good fight and now be able to rest. I miss him. I think about him often and it is still hard. I can still close my eyes and see him smile and I hope that I can hold on to that for a long time. He was a good man and I am forever blessed to have him as my grandpa.