|The iconic lighthouse in Manitowoc|
I thought that I'd be in Arizona for the last part of my summer holiday. Then my Grandmother passed and the rest of my summer break was spent in Wisconsin with family. While most of us had plenty of time to grieve, it's my mother who has not had the time to sit down and process it all. She was in charge of the will and getting the funeral together. As we discovered, even though Grandma set it all up beforehand, it was still quite a bit of work. I learned a lot from my mom on this trip about funeral arrangements and understanding how to execute a will!
So while my mother was working with her siblings on the estate etc, my Dad began processing what her passing meant to him. "We're next," he said, referring to the last of their parent's dying. He has always had a morbid fascination with death. Rarely does life ever play by our rules. Who says he's next? But I can see his point as this was the first time that I actually felt "older". There's a quote that I've heard from over the years that follows my Dad's thoughts. "The only way children can come into their own is by the death of their parents." And speaking of children, I was so glad to see all my nieces and nephews. Their laughter and fun helped distract the adults from their own heavy thoughts.
The night before, I couldn't sleep. She wanted me and my brother to sing "Amazing Grace." I tossed and turned jotting down notes for what I needed to get done. I knew that if I didn't do the song, I would have been upset with myself. She often mentioned during our visits that she wanted us both to sing for her one last time. The only reason I didn't want to do it was due to the tears. So I practiced in the car on the way to the funeral home over and over. Each time I sang that damn song, I choked up. But in the end, we did it and I hope she liked it:)
During the whole trip, her presence was felt. We'd ask a question like, "Who was Grandma's friend in Louisiana? Wasn't it Denise something or other?" Then as if on cue, my Mom opened Grandma's desk drawer and found the note with Denise's name and address! And this didn't happen just once. It made us laugh because in life, she was always on top of things overseeing every single detail. In death, she was still there making sure my Mom was on top of things:)
|the car ferry of Manitowoc|
|Sandhill Cranes-an adult with the juvenile|
|Misty Sheboygan from North Point|
|One of the MANY Caspian Terns along the Northeastern Wisconsin shoreline|
|a juvenile Black-capped Chickadee dries off after bathing in the marsh at Woodland Dunes|
My town is very much like the Shire. There is a deep history in storytelling and understanding our family lines. It's fascinating. When my Grandma passed, she left behind her high school yearbooks. There I sat paging through all the young faces from the class of '49. They look very much like our kids today in school. They all had dreams just like my own students do. I always wonder if they would have changed anything in their lives had they known then what is known now. And I wonder to myself, what my own legacy will be? What will yours be? Until next time.....
|My Grandparents graduated in the same class. Later they married. I wonder what they were thinking about at this stage in their lives.|