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Monday, July 23, 2012


I've been in much thought recently about family. But not just my little family of four.  My extended family. Aunts, uncles, cousins, great aunt, great uncles and so on.  And this has all stemmed from last week. On Tuesday, we attended my meme's funeral.  My sister wrote about my meme here after a sad Thanksgiving last year. You should definitely read it . . . if I do say so myself.  My meme had gotten so sick, that my dada (which is my grandfather and her husband) was not able to care for her at home any longer. They moved her into a nursing home.  And she began to quickly go downhill.  We were praying that God would take her soon because we didn't want her to suffer long. And thankfully he did. But it was sad. During the two days with family last week, there were a few things that stuck out to me.

- My uncle calls my mom his sister. She is not his sister. My aunt is her sister. But to them it's all the same. And I love this. I love the closeness of my mom, her sisters and even the husbands.

- My dad spoke at the funeral and at the end, he specifically talked to my dada. And my dad didn't hold it together. He tried, but there was much emotion when he told my dada that he had been a prime example of what it means to love your wife as Christ loves the church. Through sickness and in health. You see, my dada visited my meme in the nursing home 3 times a day. He couldn't stand the fact that he couldn't do it all himself anymore. And each night after dinner he fed her an individual portion of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla icecream. The nurses let him keep a stash in their freezer. I've always known my dada as a servant. Helping my meme in the kitchen, cleaning up the messes, making sure guests were comfortable in their home.  He is not the typical male for his generation. But he is an amazing servant. It's just who he is and what he does. I'm thankful to even know him. But especially thankful that he's my dada...and that he's always called me Smell Mel. :)

- I've thought about Jeremy and I's first summer married. We didn't do a typical vacaiton. Instead we spent about a week in East Texas. We spent half of our time with my dad's parents and the other half with my mom's parents. My meme and dada (my mom's parents) had an incredibly sweet marriage at almost 60 years in. I remember thinking that during our time with them. Jeremy and I even discussed this during our visit. This September would have been 69 years. I'm not mentioning now that their marriage was incredible just because she's gone. It really was. I hope for that same sweetness with my own husband when we're old and grey.

- My cousin spoke at meme's funeral. I'm going to admit that I'm not extrememly close to my grandparents. I was the little girl that never wanted to leave home for an extended period of time. Not for camp, not for a week at the grandparents, not really for anything unless my own daddy or mommy would be there. I probably would have cried myself to sleep every night had I gone without them. I'm sure I missed out on a lot of fun because of this. But hearing my cousin talk about his memories, made me thankful that my boys live close to their grandparents. And that they love them so much. I love that they are a very involved part of their lives.  I'm sure I've taken it for granted a million times in the past.  But I hope they'll have that closeness that somehow I missed out on.

- I was shocked by the people that showed up at this funeral. Shocked to the point of tears when I saw an old pastor and wife that came to show their love and support for my parents. They made quite a drive. It reminded me that I didn't attend my brother-in-law's funeral for his mom or his dad. I was out of town in college, but honestly, I have no idea why I was not there! I should have been there. And I deeply regret that I missed it.

-After last week, I sure have a deeper appreciation for the closeness of family. I think sometimes I'm so consumed with just the family that lives in our house - like that is what's most important. But now I'm more aware of how much I want the presence and involvement of our extended family.  What do people do without family!?

Last Tuesday was a sad day, saying our final goodbyes to meme. But her leaving us has stirred my heart in many ways. For that, I am thankful.

1 comment:

everyday graces said...

your meme sounds like she was an incredible woman who was very loved. sorry for your loss.