Granddad looks at Grandmother one last time
After the rosary service at the funeral home
Her grandsons are the pallbearers
Pallbearers carrying the casket
Scott, Russell, Andrew, Darren, Brian, Mark, and James stand behind Grandmother
Grandmother's children in the front row at the interment
Uncle Gerald sanding behind Granddad
Grandmother's brothers, Edward and Leo
Grandmother was the oldest of six siblings: Grandmother (Louise), Bert, Edward, Marie, Leo, and Pat. Bert passed away a few years ago. Also, there was another girl who died at age two when Grandmother was about eight years old.
Grandmother's sister Marie with her two daughters
Grandmother's brother Leo with his wife and two sons
(alongside my cousins Ashley and Anda)
The cousins (plus Ameris's three kids)
The cousins and spouses
Mom with Scott and Brian
Dad and some cousins at the funeral
Dad's brother Gary (with wife Joy) and sister Karen (with husband Harvey)
also attended Grandmother's funeral
My cousin Anna and I always hung out together as kids
Anna and Audra by their brother's headstone
(Jacob died at age 14 and was buried next to Grandmother's plot)
Cousins at Grandmother and Granddad's house
Russell and Leo
We were on the same plane from Dallas to Amarillo with my cousin Russell and his youngest son, Leo. They had four flights to get there from Alaska!
Anna tickling her nephew Tobin's feet
Ameris's daughter, Zoe
Swayzee with Grandma Rita
Audra watching Tobin sleep
Leo ready for a nap, too
Brooke and Darren
A flower in Grandmother's garden
Until she fell, Grandmother spent a couple hours every day in her gardens, tending to her flowers and vegetables in the backyard and her roses by the driveway. Grandmother was certainly never afraid to work.
She and Granddad kept very busy for such an elderly couple. They went to the Hereford Senior Center every day for lunch and social activities. Grandmother was active at church, participating in groups such as Bible Study and Eucharistic Adoration. In addition to cooking a hot breakfast and full dinner for Granddad, she took meals to friends in need. They often drove to nearby towns to visit friends, such as their old neighbors at Arney (the community where their farm was). Grandmother canned her own vegetables, baked bread (and everything else) from scratch, and made homemade preserves with the fruit from her apricot tree. But most of all, she took care of her family and taught us all how to love.
Memorial donations may be made to the Hereford Senior Citizens Center (426 Ranger Dr., Hereford, TX 79045) or to St. Anthony's School Endowment Fund (114 Sunset, Hereford, TX 79045).
Michael and Melissa
One of our friends from Atlanta recently lost their son, Joseph, to cancer. He was close to Gabi's age, and I cannot imagine life without Gabi girl; at least you expect to continue living after your grandparents are gone. I don't think Grandmother feared death; after a full life, she welcomed and embraced it. At least once I heard her comment on how wonderful it would be to go home to Jesus and be reunited with her parents and other lost loved ones. What faith!
At any rate, our Atlanta friend has a blog that chronicalled their faith-filled journey through young Joseph's cancer struggle. Here are a couple posts that really touched me:
* Brave and Strong -- "Every child, every person is of grave importance to God. Being a mother is a worthy job, not because it's 'rewarding' or 'fun,' but because you are molding little hearts and minds and teaching them about God and the world he has made. And, it is not a job for the weak."
* Held -- a touching account of his final moments ("I love you, Joseph. You are doing so great. I am so proud of you. Just relax and go to Jesus. Mommy is here with you.")
* Also, Joseph's Memorial: "We should all take the greatest joy in our day to day living and just being surrounded by the people we love." and then a song his father wrote for him
* First Vacation without Joseph -- When asked to guess who will be at the beach with them, little sister Holly's face lights up and she says, "Joe?"