Today was a wonderful day…it was a celebration of everything that my grandmother loved. We lost my grandmother on 30 Dec 2011. She was 91 years old and for all of her life she had been a caretaker…taking care of her siblings, husband, children, parents, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. We have family reunions every two years at my uncle’s place and my grandmother loved any opportunity to get together and enjoy being with those she loved. Today her descendants, siblings, cousins and friends gathered to lay her ashes to rest next to her husband and not far from the home where she raised her children.
Grandma Marian looked forward to any family gathering that she could attend especially family reunions. I think that we all knew that last year was going to be her last family reunion. Her health was failing and her life was winding down. That didn’t stop her from exclaiming over the young ones from her various descendants and including her nieces and nephews. It was her last hurrah…and she did everything she could to enjoy the occasion. We gathered at the beginning of January to mourn her passing and resolved to gather again in May to bury her ashes. So, today we celebrated my grandmother and it was a wonderful day.
We began by gathering up at Rock Creek Cemetery to lay my uncle to rest. He had died a few weeks ago and my aunt decided to take advantage of the gathering of family to lay his ashes next to his parents and son. We then headed out to Freeze Cemetery to do the same for my grandmother. An old family friend who is a deacon in our church said the burial rite over her grave. To me it was a peaceful goodbye. Towards the end of her life, Grandma’s faith was important to her and even when she could not attend mass, she would watch it on TV and wait for her Eucharistic ministers and friends to come to her house each Sunday morning to give her communion. Today, she was laid to rest with the Lord’s Prayer said over her and holy water sprinkled over her resting place as we reminisced as a family at the remarkable woman who was such a huge part of each of our lives.
After the service, we all drove up the road turned off to Skyline drive and headed down to the picnic area. There we gathered as a family from my 93 year old great uncle to the 2 year old cousins who blew bubbles in the air. We ate hamburgers and hot dogs…salads and cake and did something our family does very well. We visited with each other and caught up with the family news. I caught myself a few times looking to try and find the familiar visage of my grandmother leaning close to hear some bit of news. I thought to myself that this was a grand day and that all of those that we missed were watching us from above and rejoicing that the family they loved still gathered together to renew the bonds of family that they had helped meld. Rest in Peace – Grandma. We love you!