Thursday, January 7, 2010

Can I Have a Vacation Please?

Our plan this Christmas was to fly to New Mexico on the 18th, enjoy Christmas, take a day trip up to Southern Colorado to visit my grandparents, purchase my parents' Tahoe, and then drive back home on the 27th, work for 3 days, then drive up to Boise new year's eve to help Chelsea and Kevin pack up to move, and bring their piano home on new year's day. That plan was already busy enough, don't you think?

Here's what actually happened:

We flew to NM as planned on the 18th. On the 20th we all luckily decided to go up to visit my grandparents on Monday rather than Saturday in case something came up on Saturday. Chelsea blogged about that visit here. Every time we've visited in the last 5 years or so it's been really sad for me to see how old Grandpa was. I remember one visit specifically he didn't have his dentures in and just sat in his chair the whole time, and I was surprised how old he looked. He lost his hearing and his knees were really bad, so he stopped contributing to conversations and he didn't move around much and Grandma had to do a lot of caring for him. On the 26th, back in NM, we got a call from Grandma letting us know that Grandpa had died that morning. Clare blogged about it here, including some great pictures of Grandpa.

This is a cell phone picture of a picture of me, when I was about 6(?) sitting on Grandpa's lap.

Left to right: Grandpa, Grandma, Clint, Chelsea, Erik, me, Mommy, Alex, Daddy

This is what made our vacation plans change quite a bit. I wanted to stay for the funeral but Dave had to go back home to take care of some things before the end of the year, so Dave drove home on the 27th, and I stayed in NM. On the 29th we went up to CO and stayed in a hotel. Grandpa's funeral was on the 30th. It was the first funeral that I'd been to of someone I actually knew. The viewing was interesting. Chelsea and I decided that Grandpa looked like he was sleeping, except if he were sleeping, he'd be on his side with his covers tucked up all around his face, and he'd be snoring. The services were nice. I learned things about Grandpa I hadn't known before, like when he played hookie in first grade, and that he bought a diamond for Grandma in Brazil on his way home from his mission in Uruguay. Vanessa's blog post here has some more pictures of Grandpa and some more stories from the funeral. Everyone made it pretty well without crying much until they played taps at the grave site, then everyone broke down. It sure was sad to say goodbye, but I'm glad that I know that it was just a goodbye for now, and I get to see him again.

I noticed that a lot of people remember most that Grandpa was a hard worker. I remember that as well, he was always working hard on the farm when we came to visit, unless he was sleeping on the couch after lunch, or teasing the kiddos. One thing I hope to never forget is the way Grandpa played Authors (a game like Go Fish). He had played the game so many times that he had all the books and authors memorized, and I'm sure he had read all the books themselves, too. When we'd play, we'd play with "Grandpa's rules" which basically means cheating is allowed. He'd always ask for cards he didn't have, which threw everyone else off. I'm pretty sure he always won because of it.

After the funeral we went back to NM and the next day Chelsea, Penelope, and I flew together to Boise. Dave drove up and met us there. New Year's Eve we went to bed early because we were all completely exhausted. New Year's Day we helped Chelsea and Kevin pack up, and we loaded the piano into a trailer and drove back home.

I told Dave that the next time we go on "vacation" we should go on a cruise.


Michael + Molly said...

Jeez... rough holiday... Its crazy what you learn about your grandparents at their funerals... It always makes me wish I asked them to tell their stories more...

Little Family Fun said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. Hope you guys had a good holiday.