Another Memorial Day done. This will be our 5th one without my dad. I can’t say enough how time goes by so fast, but yet so slow.
The cemetery was beautiful. Now that my mom has moved I will probably only visit it on Memorial Day. We also went to another cemetery where my great grandparents are buried. It had an amazing flag display that was very humbling. I explained to Rachel what the flags stood for and that each one was for someone who had died in a war. Most about the age of her brother. 19.
I want to share a moment I had at my dad’s grave. I have written about how robins to me are a sign of my dad. I see them in my yard a lot and on our fences and feel like it’s my dad saying “Hi. I see you. I’m with you. I’m ok.” My husband just smiles when I say that, I’m pretty sure he thinks I wacko, but you can’t dismiss this. We were standing by my dad’s headstone talking with my uncle (my dad’s brother) and his wife and a robin just flies up and lands on his head. It just sat there for a couple of minutes. Not scared. Just looking around. Then he flew away. I was like “Did that really just happen!?” It gave me goosebumps.
They are still with us. Sometimes we just forget and just need a robin to land on our head to remember.
It’s actually hard to believe that it has been almost 16 months since dad died. Those first few months I never thought I would feel happy again or enjoy life. That was a dark and bleak time. I miss my dad everyday. But I don’t ache anymore. I didn’t think I would ever be able to say that.
We went down to my mom’s for Memorial Day and went to my dad’s grave and my grandfather’s who just recently passed away. Many of my cousins were there. It seems we only get together for funerals and cemeteries this past year or so. It was good to see everyone. We had a nice lunch together afterwards. It was strange not having my dad and especially my grandfather there. Gatherings seem to be getting smaller, even if it was only by 2 people.
My mom is doing well. She has put in a request with her church to go on a service mission for year. So she could be leaving Utah and going who knows where during that time. She is excited. It is something that her and my dad wanted to do together. It’s not exactly how she imagined it, but she is looking forward to something new and a change. She will meet new people and probably other widows and maybe even a few widowers. We will miss her while she is gone, but are so happy for her.
My grandfather’s funeral was beautiful. All of his 19 grandchildren were there and 49 of his 52 great grandchildren were there. It was mostly just family because when you are 95 most of your friends have gone before you. So it was a family reunion of sorts.
After the graveside prayer my family walked across the cemetery to my dad’s grave. We had some time just us together and it was peaceful. Much different than a year ago when we were there.
I got home later that night and slept for 12 hours. It was an emotional draining day. But still a good day.
Today is a sad but joyous day. My 95-year-old grandfather passed away early this morning. He was the kindest man with a quick funny answer to anything you said to him. He was a great example and raised some of the best men I know. One of them being my dad. Love you grandpa.
Additional Facebook post the same day:
I wanted to share a funny memory of my grandfather. Last Memorial Day we had a nice dinner before we went to the cemetery. We sat down to eat and I got an apron out for grandpa to wear so he wouldn’t get his white church shirt dirty. I said to him “Now grandpa this apron says Utah State Aggies on it. You should feel really special to be wearing it.” without a second of hesitation he said “Well you better turn it inside out. We can’t have that showing.” (He’s a huge BYU fan). He ate the whole dinner with it on inside out. Funny, especially since more than half of his grandchildren went to USU.
I have mixed emotions about his death. I am so happy for him. He has wanted to go for so long now. But it feels like we just did this. A year doesn’t seem very long in terms of going to another funeral. It reminds me a lot of those feelings a year ago.
It makes me miss my dad.
After dropping my son off at school yesterday at 7am I was driving down the same street I drive everyday and on the side of the road was an old man. He had white hair and was dressed in suit pants, a white shirt and tie. He was waving at everyone as they drove by and smiling. He’s NEVER been there before. He didn’t have a coat on. (It was 30 degrees outside). As I drove past him he looked me right in the eyes and had the hugest smile and waved. He looked so happy. I cried the rest of the way home. He reminded me so much of my grandfather. Later when I left for work the first song my iPod played is the song from my father’s funeral “Never Alone” by Lady Antebellum. Ok, this song has NEVER been in my shuffle selection on my iPod EVER. Then the next song after that was “Beautiful World” by Bon Jovi. Really???? Let me add that my drive to work is all but 8 minutes from my house.
Do I believe in “signs” from the here after? Coincidences? Not usually.