November 2004 - NJ
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This trip wasn't really a vacation, I went back to NJ for my maternal grandmother's funeral. It was, however, the only time in a decade that all of the cousins were together in one place at one time, so we took a few of those "this will be important later" photos with all of the cousins, and then all of the cousins with my grandfather.

The teddy bears you see in the photos with my grandfather were all from my grandmother. She loved teddy bears and she wanted each of her grandchildren to have one from her. I'm holding the one that will be given to my daughter, Caitlin. We could not afford to fly Caitlin back for the service and she was really too young to be there anyway, so holding the teddy bear for her was my way of including her in these photos. Since my grandfather happens to be the only great-grandparent Caitlin has left at this point, that makes just the photo a bit more special.

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I opted to not take any other photos during the viewing or services, partly because I was a pallbearer and thus didn't have much time and partly because I thought it would have been somewhat distasteful.

One thing I feel compelled to write here as a matter of record, respect, and honor is how impressed I was with my grandfather during this ordeal. He has a very strong faith and his behavior during this time of great personal strain showed that faith as clearly as a lighthouse on a dark night. To watch him console others at the viewing for his wife of that many years was nothing short of amazing. Of all the things happening during my week back in NJ, this stood out to me very clearly and memorably, so much so that I felt compelled to not only share it with my grandfather while I was there, but also to record it here for others in the family who might view this page to read about. If I should ever have such a loss in my life, I can only hope that I can react with the same grace and strong character that he displayed. Wow.

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Page last updated 12/25/2010 02:22:57 PM