Saturday, January 25th, Ben, his Dad, and I attended the funeral of Norm's sister Margaret. We flew out Friday morning, after a bit of a debacle with our flight arrangements, and spent the weekend with Norm's family in Oregon as we remembered Aunt Margaret who'd been battling a variety of cancers for over 7 years. While I never spent a great deal of time with Aunt Margaret in person, we got to be great online friends. She loved reading this blog and would frequently send me emails about how she was doing, with little tidbits of motherhood advice mixed in. She always had great perspective, reminding me to keep the needs of my small children always at the forefront. Her little notes of encouragement always came at just the right time, when I was feeling down or overwhelmed. After reading her email I was always uplifted and reminded that if she could remain so optimistic and courageous in her battle, then I could certainly snuggle my kids a little tighter and play with them a little longer. The funeral service was lovely and very moving. It was great fun to hear lots of stories of her life. She touched everyone she met for good.
The sign in table at the funeral.
We stayed with Ben's cousin Niki (Aunt Margaret's daughter) and her family in the beautiful farm house they'd just moved into. The highlight of the trip was to be there with them. I learned more about what it means to "mourn with those that mourn" during our trip than I ever have before. I don't think we were any great help to Niki or the rest of the family, but just being there felt right. We enjoyed a few dinners out sans kids (my dearest mom and sister stayed with our kids and even took care of Ammon who spiked a high fever just after we left), and had a relaxing weekend.
Norm and Niki's husband Joe at the luncheon after the funeral.
Ben and I
Niki will kill me for posting this, but it's all we had. Everyone was pretty emotionally drained and didn't feel up to posed family photos. So even though the picture is blurry and Niki's got her mouth full, I can't get over how much we look alike. Couldn't we be sisters? Sure love that girl!!!
After the funeral we stopped off to visit Norm's mom, Grandma Fobert. She had severe dementia and wasn't able to attend the funeral but seemed really pleased to see us. She kept saying Norm was her brother and continually looked longingly at us throughout the visit, trying to piece together who we were, knowing she should know us. Grandma's sister and a few other family members stopped by at the same time and it was a treat to hear some of their stories about growing up together. The family resemblance between Norm and Grandma is asstounding!
Great weekend! So so glad we could make it. Can't wait for the next Fobert/Allen reunion.