Saturday, October 29, 2011

Beginnings, endings and the stuff that comes in between

If I'm not careful, this blog could come to look like a "public notice" column in the newspaper. What with all my reporting of people havin' babies and birthdays and all, and me feeling obligated to write about it every time....

Based on the activity of the last month, this would become an obit blog entirely. So, to quote Inigo Montoya, " 'S to much to es'plain - lemme sum up."

Update on Jamie's Matt:

After 12 days in the ICU, Matt decided to continue the great adventure on the other side. This leaves Jamie quite devastated, and has been really difficult for my Matt, too. He was only 47, and still probably had another 50 books in that brain of his. Hubby is currently working on getting Matt's final book through final editing and hopefully it will be published in short order. You can read up a little more on Matt on his Wiki page, and tributes were published on a few sites in the webiverse, like Temple Study (but I must amend this entry: the "incident" was not heart failure, the cause of his collapse is still undetermined, and it was the Wilkinson Center not the Library, where it occurred, that's me, being a stickler over the details). We held a graveside service on October 7th, followed by a large memorial service the following week on October 15. The outpouring of love for dear Jamie at this event was pretty fantastic.

While Jamie's Matt was in the hospital my grandpa passed away.

He was always a tough guy, a contractor by trade. He was a man who loved to work with his hands, and he worked hard. He instilled in his boys a rock-solid work ethic. He also loved to cook, and the kitchen in my grandparent's home was HIS DOMAIN. He always had a smile on his face, and a very ready laugh. He's been on his own since my grandma passed away 13 years ago, and has known for a while his time was coming. His was not an untimely death, as he was 96 years old, and ready to go. He chose to donate his body to science through the UCLA medical center, and eschewed anything to do with a funeral - no service, no obituary, no stress or travel for the family (especially as one of his sons, my Uncle Darryl, had passed away on the opposite side of the country just shortly ago). He lived a very full life, and we have lots of good memories to hold on to.

In September, Hubby's Aunt Ellen passed away.

She was the matriach of this tribe, full of crazy fun cousins who have been like sisters to me since I married into this family twenty-three years ago. Ellen is the baby girl in her family, my MIL's littlest sister. She was SO much fun to be around. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor six years ago, and valiantly fought it off to buy six more jam-packed years with her family. Her funeral....well, let's just say that you shouldn't have so much fun at a funeral. She didn't want anyone to mourn, and asked Uncle Perry to "tell it like it is" in his eulogy. It was truly a celebration of her life. Here are a few gems Uncle Perry shared:

While making the arrangements for the funeral, they asked Ellen if she wanted an open casket. The cancer hadn't been kind to her in the last months, and she replied  "I will haunt you forever if you open that casket." and she MEANT it.

When summing up about Ellen's relationship with her children and the difficulties she faced getting them through their teenage years, Uncle Perry said "They had a lot of problems. For one thing, Seth. (pause) That didn't come out right, now did it?"  

During a Primary program at church when her son Burke was just little, instead of quoting his memorized part in the program, he said into the microphone "Mom?! I hate you, Mom!"

The congregation at the funeral laughed so hard that they cried. I'm sure Ellen was laughing along with us, she didn't want anyone to be sad.

Endings. Far too many of them.

And more beginnings too:


Now, that's a little guy who looks happy to be here. We've been blessed with lot's of new little ones this year. The newest is Rocky, here, son of my friend Jack. Rocky decided to make things difficult for his poor mama, and show up more than a week overdue.

I think he was worth the wait. And a nice thing to celebrate after so much recent loss.

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