Wednesday I flew solo to New York state to be with my family and attend my grandpa’s funeral. I have never left Cash (or Zia!) overnight, so it was kind of a big deal for all of us. David took off work to spend time with the kids and take them out to do fun things. I came home to a spotless house and no dirty laundry, which was so very nice. Love that man.
My flight to Syracuse was a little crazy. I had a one-hour layover in Charlotte, but before we even left Denver we were delayed an hour and a half. There had been a bird strike on the landing gear, which led to a full inspection of the mechanics, and then a lady passed out cold in the aisle of the plane. They had to call the paramedics (Denver F.D.) to revive her, then disembarked her in a wheelchair and retrieved her checked luggage from the plane. It took a looong time.
The other passengers began making plans to take the night flights out of Charlotte, since it seemed sure we would all miss our connections. I just trusted that I would make my connection. It seemed impossible, but once we finally landed, I ran at top speed to the connecting gate and they let me in, although the door to the gate was closed and the plane was almost ready to take off. Talk about an adrenaline surge when I burst into that plane!
Flying over the Finger Lakes.
New York was really beautiful and green when I arrived. I think this is one of the best times to visit (aside from being the week of the black flies!) Everything looked verrrryyy low and flat compared to the Rockies, haha. There was also a lovely abundance of oxygen.
My time in NY was both sad and happy. I was really glad to see my grandma, but her health (physical and mental) had deteriorated exponentially since I last saw her, and it was shocking. She was so tiny and old, and it was heartbreaking to witness moments of lucidity when she understood the occasion and grieved for Grandpa.
Grandma with her daughter Sharon on her right and son Larry (Papa) on her left.
I explained to Grandma who I was (she hardly remembers anyone) and her eyes opened wide in astonishment. “How big you got!” From then on, when I told her who I was, she said, “I know, honey.” I like to think she remembers me, if only as a curly-headed tot.
Papa, Grandma, and me outside the funeral home.
Papa. This was one of the rare occasions any of us have seen him in a suit.
Pictures of Grandpa.
The headstone–which has been ready for so long it has moss growing on it, lol.
Zia brought me a card she made for her great-grandpa just minutes before I left for the airport. It was super sweet. They displayed it at the wake, and tucked it into Grandpa’s casket just before the funeral.
Me with Papa and Mama. Guess I got tired of wearing my shoes!
The wake was Thursday and the funeral Friday. It was hard and sad to say a final goodbye to Grandpa, but it was also a really beautiful celebration of his life. I got to see my three cousins on my father’s side whom I haven’t seen in years, and a myriad of other relatives and old family friends.
My cousin Christopher, who is just younger than me. Grandpa was like a father to him, and his passing was especially hard for him.
All my siblings and three of our boy cousins, back left. And Gaby-Baby!
…and here with spouses, fiancees, Gianna (my niece), and Papa and Mama.
My older brother and closest sibling, Seth.
The best part of the trip was being with my own family. It seems like forever since all eleven of us siblings were together, and I got to see my little nieces and nephews–including the latest, Gabe, whom I had never met. We all hung out together at Mama’s and Papa’s house and had such a good time. It was strange being without my own little ones, and sleeping alone for the first time in more than eleven years (wow, did I sleep soundly!)
Saturday morning I headed back to Colorado and my munchkins, and home sweet home.