Saturday, May 20, 2017

On July 8, my Grandma (Mimi to my kids) passed away.  She was 101 years old and I really loved her.  She was such a shining example of how I want to be when I am older.  My grandfather died 13 years ago, so she learned to live on her own.  She didn't like to accept help from people.  She preferred to do things herself in order to stay active and self sufficient.  Her motto became if she could do something herself, she didn't want help doing it.  She lived independently until she died.  Her only sadness was that her body was holding her back from doing things.  She was mostly in a wheel chair and missed being able to move around the way she wanted.  She was very strong in her faith, constantly trying to bring people back to the Church that had left it for various reasons.  She was sharp and funny and I always loved talking to her.  Nobody could ever believe that she was over 100 because her mind was fully in tact.  She played bridge several times a week and even won a bridge tournament a few months before she died.  She was always positive and happy.  And she was encouraging.  She always told me that she thought I was a good mother, which meant a lot to me.  I felt close to her and cherish the fact that I saw her so much while I was growing up and that she was able to see all of my children and get to know them too. When we were in Jacksonville in March, we got to spend some time with her and celebrate her 101st birthday.

I am so thankful to have had her for so long in my life.  Although I miss her and mourn her passing, I can only be thankful that she was in my life for 37 years.  Not many people can say that about their grandparents!

Her funeral was in August in New Jersey so that her ashes could be put next to my Grandfather's ashes.  Abbey was already scheduled to be in a play that Friday morning, so we decided to split up for the journey.  I stayed with Abbey to watch her play and then we flew to New Jersey.  Paul drove the other 3 kids to New Jersey.  We were supposed to go to TN to visit Mama Kay and Papa after the funeral, so we needed to have our car there to make the trip down.  So, we split up and I got to spend some girl time with Abbey.

 Our time included some shopping, a movie, and some frozen yogurt!
 She was in High School Musical with a bunch of friends and it was very cute.  I always love watching her perform!

 Then we headed to the airport.
And flew to NJ.
 When we arrived at the airport, we met my Mom there as she had just flown in as well.  Her brother had arranged for a car to pick us up and bring us to Spring Lake.  Shenanigans in the car with this silly girl!

She was pretty excited that the driver had all kinds of candy she could have in the car!
Meanwhile, Paul had taken the other 3 kids driving from home to NJ.  Since driving was much less exciting than flying, they decided to have some fun and stop in Hershey, PA.  Apparently, this guy was keeping everyone up at the hotel thinking it was play time when it was really sleep time!  He needs a crib (and his own space) to settle down for sleep.
Looks like they had a good time at this restaurant/game place they went to for dinner.

The next day they went to the Hershey factory where they got to tour the factory and make their own labeled chocolates!

They met Ms. Twizzler!
They sent me this picture - check out that aisle of my favorite candy!!
Looks like they had a good time at Hershey's Chocolate World!  Abbey and I were so jealous, especially since we are the only ones in the family that really LOVE chocolate!  I promised her I would take her separately another time (because I really want to go too!).
We all made it to NJ on Friday.  The funeral was Saturday morning.  I guess Grandma knew we were all very sad and wanted to shake things up a little bit.  The organist, as soon as we got there, had a seizure.  He screamed from the choir loft and it was very scary for a few minutes until we knew what had happened.  Luckily, my family is full of doctors that ran up and helped him while we called 911.  The man was OK, but the problem was that they could not bring him down on a stretcher because the stair case was tiny and winding.  So the fire trucks came to figure out how to bring him down.  This was pretty exciting for the kids.  While we waited, one of the firemen let the kids climb in and explore the fire truck.  This was once we knew the man was fine, of course.  In the end, he was able to sit down and come down the stairs one by one on his own with help from firemen and then get on a stretcher and go off in an ambulance.  It is a funeral that we will never forget and it eased the tension of the morning - well done Grandma!
After the funeral, we went to the place where Grandpa's ashes were and watched them put Grandma in with him.  It took 13 years, but they are finally together again.
There was a lovely lunch planned at a nearby restaurant by my Aunt.  After lunch we headed back to the hotel to try to get Matthew to nap.  After that attempt failed, they decided to play with Brendan for a while in the hotel and the pool.  
Silly boy cousins!

The next day we left early to make our trip to TN.  It was a very sad weekend, but so good to see some family I haven't seen in years and also spend time with my immediate family.  We love and miss you Mimi!

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