Man, I was doing so well what with the reasonable posting schedule too! I actually started this one on 3/16, after we got back from a funeral in Baltimore. I think I was going to tell you all about the funeral, but then I was going to tell you all about the Lady whose funeral it was, and while I was typing it turned into all about the funeral anyway.
Michael and I were in Orlando celebrating thirteen years of marriage (almost) when I got The Call. Except I missed The Call as the room we were in must have magic mobile signal dampeners in it. Because it’s Disney and they’re magic like that.
So I pressed myself up against the window and phoned my dad at 8 the next morning when I saw I missed The Call and got the low down. Let us fast forward to Friday when we piled in the car. Then drive drive drive, funeral, drive drive drive, and we’re home. I lied. You got the readers digest version. Except for the bit at the end.
My gram was fantastic. I remember making peanut butter and birdseed pine one bird feeders with her. And harvesting her strawberries every summer. And drinking sweet cream buttermilk straight out of the container (shhh). And probably a million other little things I am forgetting. I learned how to sew on her machine – something I cringe at now. The damage I must have done to it and she didn’t bat an eye. She taught me to embroider. When I learned to crochet and knit, she passed yarn down to me. She used to joke that the cooking gene must skip a generation, because my mom was so far from at home in the kitchen, the kitchen could have been in another house (my joke, not Gram’s). She made a baby blanket for each grandchild, and when my first child was born, there was an embroidered blanket for him too. So in honor of my gram, I had the birdies off of my baby blanket “embroidered” on me.
Here is the bit at the end:
The photo to the right was at the gravesite, obviously. What you may not know is its a mitzvah to help bury your dead, which I won’t get into, but it’s a goodness. Usually this is accomplished symbolically with a trowel and small box of dirt everyone [attending] uses. This time, our entire family had shovels and was filling the grave. Very heartwarming. This photo is E and M. E doesn’t remember my mother, so my gram is the only gram (bubbe) is it, and this really impacted her. She threw in shovel after shovel, with help, and then she took up the trowel to finish up. She was the youngest great grandchild in attendance (the next two were too little to attend), and completed from oldest to youngest for me. So touching.
One more bit at the end. This is my mothers headstone. I didn’t take a shot of my sisters (this trip) but I had taken this one specifically to send to a friend who was unable to make graveside services. You see, my kids called my mom RaRa. D couldn’t say grandma, so RaRa it was, for all of my kids. And I suspect we scandalized the family by having RaRa put on her stone instead of Grandmother, but much like my sister’s stone says “Our Free Spirit” – well, see what happens when you let the other free spirits write headstones? We were all pretty good at the services, until we visited mom and Erin. The Florida contingent showed up and left a smattering of seashells on everyone’s headstones (I think you can see those in the picture too, but I’m not positive)