Some Christmas pictures throughout the years.
These were when they flew up to Chicago for Ben's Baptism.
Grand-Patch and his first Great-Grandchild, Ben.
This was from our wedding.
More Christmas pictures - I love this one of him playing with Abbey.
Grand-Patch with Ben
These next few are when we went to Naples for Ben's first Thanksgiving, which was when we also celebrated Nana and Patch's 60th wedding anniversary.
More Christmas pictures
So on July 5, we flew down to Florida again to attend his funeral. We knew it was going to be difficult with the kids, but we all wanted to be there. We talked to the kids a lot about how difficult the weekend was going to be and how to behave during all of the funeral activities. But, we did have some fun with them while we were there during appropriate times, like when we landed on Saturday afternoon. That was a perfect time to get out some energy in the pool.
Matthew seemed to enjoy the pool!
He really liked floating on his back, which is a lot of kids don't like.
And unfortunately, the funeral was set to be on July 7, which is Abbey's birthday. So Madgie made her a cake and we celebrated the night before. Thank you Madgie! And by the way, Abbey was so good about not truly celebrating her birthday. She understood what was happening and why we couldn't quite celebrate. She handled it so well and I was very proud of her.
And there was even time to go for some rides in Patch's cool cars...just keep it under 88mph Patch!
At the funeral, the kids were so well behaved. I was so proud of them. Ben wore his suit (and it was HOT) and the girls wore pretty black dresses and they were quiet and respectful during the whole funeral Mass. And then we got to hear my Dad and Uncle give beautifully touching eulogies. It was a beautiful service. And a big thank you to Aunt Ginny. She was in the back with Brendan and as I brought Matthew back when he started to fuss a little (as it was during nap time), she offered to hold him in the back so I could go back and participate in the Mass. I really appreciated it. My cousin and I brought up the gifts and Paul was a pall bearer as he was also close to Patch after having known him for so long. Side story, Nana and Patch were at our house and answered the door to Paul on our first date. So he has known them since the beginning of our relationship! It meant a lot to Paul to be able to serve at the funeral too. After the funeral, we went to the Jacksonville National Cemetery, where Patch was given a proper military ceremony with Taps being played by my cousin on his trumpet and the folding and presenting of the flag to Nana. It was beautiful. And after the ceremony, the casket was moved to the burial site and we saw him being lowered into the ground before we left. It was very moving and emotional. Then it was back to my parents house for a reception. This was the only picture I took during the day. This is at the cemetery with the flag at half mast.
The next day it was time to fly back. So we took one last picture of the kids with Grand Patch.
We love you and miss you.
Then it was off to the airport to fly home again. See you soon Madgie and Patch! We hated the reason for the visit, but it is always good to see you!