This blog is simply the story about my little life
with my sweet family that the Lord has blessed me with
and the day in, day out things that we do.
It basically is my online diary/photo album of our life.
I'm glad you're here!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Still so much to get done...

My father passed away on February 2, 2017. It was just two months after my Mamma died and about a week after we held her memorial. My life had been crazy busy and stressful up to her memorial and I had a week of peace until Daddy started dying. It was one of those moments when I felt like I couldn't possibly take anymore. I had experienced so much loss, sadness and stress, but God was with me and He gave me the strength I needed.
After Daddy died, I was blessed with my job giving me a week off for bereavement and also blessed with amazing love and support from my husband, family and friends. I was absolutely heartbroken, kinda in shock about both my parents deaths, but also stressed about getting my father's memorial arranged. We planned our father's memorial two months out to accommodate our out of state family. In retrospect, in some ways I was happy I had time to breathe a little and to plan the memorial, but on the other hand, I almost felt like it was too long because I needed the closure.
Life quickly got crazy again. The third week in February I went back to work.
We still had farm chores to take care of.
We had such a cold bitter winter that we were pretty much housebound for weeks. We finally had a decent weekend to get outside and really look at the property to see how things managed through our severe winter storms.
Eric and I were both so bummed that our bees did not survive. We noticed there was no activity and my husband opened it up and they were all dead. Our friend who is our beekeeper came over and confirmed it. The weather was just too much for them. We are hoping we will get a new hive this spring.
I continued to watch my precious grand boy once a week (which I LOVE doing!!!)
We moved into March and I took down my Valentine's decor and decorated the house for St. Patty's. I was not in the mood to do any decorating, but I knew it was important to keep a routine and I feel it's important for my grandson to see the normalcy. It is fun and perks me up once I have it up, but I was dragging my feet to do it!
The Oregon weather was still behaving badly! We continued to have tons of rain, crazy wind, below freezing temperatures and even a sprinkling of snow on March 5th!
Whenever I got a chance to rest I did!
But my father's memorial service was weighing on me. Like my mother's memorial, I had to go through tons of boxes of photos and memorabilia in preparation for the slide show. Now don't get me wrong, this was wonderful to go through Daddy's things, but it also very emotional and time consuming. It's one of those jobs I had to be in the right mood to do, so I kept putting it off.
On March 10th my hubby and I went on our fantastic cabin getaway trip.
We had our Irish feast and then I took down all the St. Patty's decor and decorated for Easter.
The funeral was now three weeks away and I had so much to do yet. We arranged to hold the memorial at our church because it's larger than my father's church and we anticipated a larger crowd than my mother's memorial. Because my mother's service was held at her church, their pastor helped us so much with the details, but because my father's is at our church and our pastor is not officiating, I had to step in and do a lot of the planning.
I just didn't realize how many details there are to work out! We had to had to hire a pianist, a kitchen helper and a sound person. We had to choose the hymns to sing, find special singers and find a special song. There were things I didn't even think like how many microphones would we be using, will the thumb drive work on the church's computer system, how will the military do their part of the ceremony, etc. I had written so many different lists! I had to make the agenda, call the mortuary to arrange the military honors, plan out how the spreading of the ashes ceremony would go, finishing the slide show, writing their obituary and so much more.

Speaking of their obituaries, we didn't write one for Mamma as we informed everyone through Facebook and we thought that worked out great, but when Daddy died so soon after, we decided to make a double obituary for the local paper. This was really stressful to write it out trying to get all the details correct, but also to honor them properly. I finally got it done and sent it in.
It was so shocking to see their obituaries in the paper. It made it so final. It was heartbreaking. The beautiful thing though was that it was written for both of them together with a photo of them together. This was so fitting because they had such a beautiful love story. I know both of them would have liked the idea of a shared obituary.
We were now two weeks from  the memorial and I had to get serious about getting the photos done. I wanted to get them done in time to mail to my son so he had time to work on the slide show. Thankfully my sister, Kathi, came over and spent several hours with me to help sort through them to whittle it down to 600 or so. This was very therapeutic for both of us as we sat there looking at the amazing photos, remembering and talking about our wonderful father. Once that was done, I took photos of the photos, uploaded them to the computer and then I had to go through the editing process to get it down to about 200 or so.
Finally, I had all the photos in chronological order and put them all on a thumb drive and mailed them to my son. Oh my gosh, getting this huge project done lifted a ton of weight off my shoulders.
I had asked for the Thursday and Friday off before the memorial service knowing I would be super busy. I made to do lists for every day and you can see how much work I had to do.
I bought myself a new outfit to wear to the service. I wanted to wear black because I was really sad and in mourning. With Mamma's funeral and my dear mother-in-law's funeral, of course I was sad, but I wanted to wear something that looked like them, something colorful, bright and fashionable (but unfortunately with Mamma's I ended up wearing black anyway). With Daddy's memorial, I just felt so heartbroken from all of the loss, I wanted to wear black.
You won't believe it, but Thursday night a huge wind storm came in with winds of 50 MPH and we lost power again! Most of the county was out of power all day on Friday. I could not believe this. Why do these stressful things keep happening? Praise God that I got the slide show done and I didn't have to worry about that! That would have been a stressful nightmare! I was concerned about my son, Grayson, as he had to work in the storm, but also I prayed that he would not have to work on Sunday, the day of the memorial.  I actually just rolled with it this time, I had no choice but to trust God.
My son, Mackenzie, flew into town from Colorado and we met at the Cat Lady's house to see my new kitty and let Ridley see all the kittens. The kittens were so darling and it was so cute to see Ridley with them. I had a great talk with my son and that really lifted my spirits. I found out that he is making music again and this really, really blessed my heart! God is so good!
After that I went to store and got everything I needed for the spreading of the ashes picnic, the funeral and the family gathering at our house after the memorial. By the time I got home Friday afternoon, the power was back on! Praise the Lord! Slowly things were coming together. 
Now it's time to really celebrate and remember the life this wonderful man. My precious Daddy.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

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