Sunday, May 12, 2013

Grandpa's Funeral

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.  


 
 March 5th was the funeral at 10am.  There was the family prayer at 9:30am.  It was a bit of a struggle getting out there.  Keith had to go in to work in the morning for at least a few hours.  Mom and dad picked me and the girls up.  Bishop Darnel was conducting, but President Hettinger was presiding.  They had nicely set up a nursery for the kids.  Of course Ada was screaming and wouldn't go.  Then Rue started up.  I had to take her out because she was fussy.  Luckily my wonderful in laws were there and came and got LaRue so I could go back in to the service.  Keith and I were having a bit of an off day and that didn't help.  The talks were wonderful and I loved hearing about grandpa's life.  Tyler sang "Coming Home" from Les Miserable and boy that song got everyone.  It was beautiful.  Especially the part about "mother waiting" on the other side to greet him.  Grandpa's mom passed away when he was like 11years old.  He has waited SO long to see his sweet mother.  I'm so glad he finally gets to be with her!  The service took about and hour and a half.  We then headed out to the grave site.  There wasn't a procession as it was kind of far away.  He is buried at a military grave site in far north Phoenix.  Again, my amazing in laws took our girls to feed them lunch and do naps at their house.  This was a blessing beyond words!!!!  Keith and I rode out with Doris and James.

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.
 Grandma was able to have all of her kids but her oldest son (on a mission with his wife). 
 I'm so grateful for my grandma!  She is so strong and so dedicated to her husband.  She was so brave today!  The day after grandpa passed away she approached me about living with her so she wouldn't be alone.  We waited to see how she felt after things calmed down.  She asked again today if we would.  We told her our lives are crazy and kids make things challenging, but she said she wanted distractions and needed someone there.  So, I guess the plan will be to have us move in with her for a little while. 

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.


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