Monday, April 22, 2024

A Weekend of Remembering

I’m back from my whirlwind trip back to North Dakota to celebrate the life of my grandma Janet. The last time I had been at the church where her funeral was held was her 100th birthday celebration last May.

My grandma and I at her 100th celebration! She aged so incredibly well.

Coming into the weekend, I had kind of buried my grief under all the other things bouncing around in my head in the past week, like work related talking points for meetings or thoughts about how I needed to remember to defrost the tuna steaks on Thursday night so we would have something g to eat on Friday or how I needed to sign Paul up for before/after care for the following school year on Friday morning. You know - all the many plates we are all trying to keep spinning. I drove up to the funeral by myself on Saturday because Paul was not well enough to join me (I left to him yelling for me to not leave so that was fun…) But even on the car ride up my mind was occupied by thinking about the national sales call I present on this morning or analyzing the song lyrics of the songs from Taylor Swift’s new album (which is so good).

The grief hit me when I got to the visitation that preceded the funeral. She lived a wonderfully full life and was so ready to go at the end, but a goodbye is a goodbye - even when it’s expected and prayed for. But her funeral was a beautiful celebration of her life. There was so much to say about my grandma, from her passion for the Vikings to her Wii bowling prowess in the assisted living center Wii bowling league to the fact that she emailed and used Facebook to her skills as a scrabble player (I only beat her once in my life and I think she may have let me win) to her love of the written word (she’s one of the reasons I am such an avid reader) to memories of how my grandparents would memorize poetry on road trips and recite it for family and friends. My grandparents had what I would call a 1st percentile marriage. I spent A LOT of time around them as we lived just down the road so I would often bike down to visit. In all my life, I never saw them exchange a cross word! Can you even imagine? 

The best part was seeing all my siblings and so much extended family. We got a pic of most of the grandkids and significant others that were at the funeral at the gathering afterwards. 

Wearing my usual black on black

We failed to get a picture of all of my siblings but I got one with my sisters! 

I drove back yesterday morning and was home by lunch. I wanted to linger longer at my parents but after being gone 3 nights last week, I was feeling especially bad being away from the boys, especially since both are fighting colds. Paul was feeling much better when I got back so I took him to swimming lessons and then we all went to the park after Taco’s nap. 

Post-lesson macarons

Sunday afternoon at the park

Now it’s back to another busy week at work which includes a very short visit to Cleveland. I’ll barely be there 24 hours but am fitting in 2 client meetings and a client dinner event. I have one more trip after this week and then I get a week off from travel. Thank. God. 


Nicole said...

What a special celebration of life for a very special woman. I know she will be deeply missed in your life. But what an incredibly vibrant life she had - amazing. We should all be so lucky to have such a marriage, a family, a life. I'm glad you got to spend the time with your family.

But oh, Lisa, so much travel is so exhausting! I'm worried about you - these things pile up and before you know it, you're flattened. I am so glad you can take a little bit of a travel break after this. xoxoxo

Jenny said...

Your grandmother sounds amazing!!!!! And I know- it's very hard to say goodbye, no matter the circumstances. I'm glad you were able to make this trip by yourself. Even if you had just Paul with you, you would have continued to be distracted. This way you got a chance to really grieve, and you probably needed the "alone" time during the car trip.
Your schedule sounds exhausting! I'm glad there's a break coming up.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I love all these photos. As you said, a goodbye is a goodbye, and that comes with sadness. I am so glad you are also able to truly celebrate a life so well-lived, and a woman so well-loved.

Very relieved on your behalf that you have a travel break coming up soon. Three weeks of work trips is way too many weeks of work trips. Safe travels this week.

Elisabeth said...

What a tremendous life she lived. I can't imagine making it to over 100! And I loved the tidbits about memorizing poetry and playing the Wii and Scrabble.

Here love and interest in her family are such a testament to her spirit and I'm glad you were able to celebrate her life.

One more trip before a break - you can make it, my friend!! But I really hope you get some extended time off (and a week of shouldless days!!!!)

NGS said...

I'm so glad you were able to spend time with your family to remember your grandmother. She sounds like she was a real force of nature.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Wow, even your sister and Ryan made it up! That is so great that you got to see all of them; sometimes that silver lining is so precious! Your grandma looks fabulous in that photo, like she doesn't even have wrinkles! I love that you had such a close relationship with her and could see her so often when you were kids, AND that your kids got to see her a lot too! They may not remember but those memories are still to be cherished. My great grandmother lived to 103 and we went to visit (back East) for her 100th birthday! I don't remember much but the photos are priceless; four generations of our family, all together. She even outlived two of her children, which is not ideal, but often happens when you live to be over 100!!

I hope that after this week things level off a little for you! I am sure you are looking forward to your shouldless day. Big hugs to you!

Birchwood Pie said...

I have to think that your grandmother would have loved the drive with TayTay's new album. What a precious weekend.

I hope that this week goes by quickly so that you can be back at home with your family.

Grateful Kae said...

Awww, again, I'm so sorry for your loss, but what a wonderful celebration of her life. And as sad as those events are, it's always great to get all the family together like that. She seemed like an amazing woman!! I love you how can pinpoint specific impacts that she had on your life. Oh- and is it just this photo, or do you and your sisters really look nothing alike?

Sophie said...

What an amazing character your grandma was, from what you’ve shared, and wonderful life she lived. Great you and so many family could be at the funeral, hard as goodbyes are. I’m sure she would have loved to see you all together celebrating her life like that.

Diane C. said...

Such great memories you have of your grandmother! I'm glad you were able to celebrate her with your family, even though it must have also been a sad time. I remember when my grandmother died ten years ago, we had to go to Taiwan for the funeral, and amazingly, all the grandchildren made it. I think that was the last time we were all together.
Hope your busy week goes smoothly and then your at home week is restorative.

Coco said...

looks like a very nice "celebration" for the life well lived. And how come she can have the 1% marriage? That's so beautiful!
It's great that your family got together for few days to grief together and celebrate her. We didn't get to do that when my dad passed away as he was in argentina solo and only my mom and I and few friends joined the funeral, no other family members.

Jeanie said...

I'm sure it had to be a very emotional time for your family -- but one filled with love and very rich memories. Your gran soundslike a really amazng woman and I am grateful that you had her in your life.

Safe travels this week.

missris said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like she was a wonderful person and lived a very full, happy life. I hope remembering this helps as you grieve her passing. Sending hugs!

Mom of Children said...

I am so sorry for your loss. So many wonderful memories.

Stephany said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Lisa, and I'm glad you got to spend time with family and revel in the memories of your grandma. Even when someone has lived a full, long life and are "ready" to go, it's still a gut-punch to lose them. I hope you're taking care of yourself during this season of grief! <3

It's crazy to have to morph right back into mom mode after your time away. Whew. One week off travel doesn't feel long enough!

Ernie said...

I agree, even when it is expected, saying good bye isn't easy. Grief is never easy. I'm glad you felt her send off was so wonderful. I love learning about her. She sounds like she had so many varied interests. I can only imagine how great it was to grow up right down the street. Too bad that Paul wasn't well enough to go with you. I'm behind in my reading so I hope you are at the point when you get a break from traveling. RIP Grandma Janet.

Anne said...

Your grandmother sounds like a wonderful, vibrant spitfire. I imagine you embody a lot of her best traits, Lisa. Her legacy is clearly living on through all of her grands and great-grands. <3

San said...

It's always hard to say goodbye, even if it's expected. I am so glad you could be with your family and celebrate your grandma's life. She sure does sound like an amazing woman and what a great life she's lived!! I hope the memories of time spent with her will always be a comfort to you. <3