Friday, November 20, 2015

Grandma Hardy and my little buddy

Freddy is my little buddy. He likes to do the same thing I do at the same time whether it be cooking, playing the piano, sweeping, mopping, folding clothes, or getting the mail. Most of the time it is super cute. 

We received news from my parents who were in Germany on a business trip for my dad, that my mom's mother, my Grandma Hardy was given only a few weeks to live. Mom made preparations to fly straight to Utah once their trip in Germany ended and then half a day later we got a text saying that Grandma had passed away. My mom was heartbroken to not have been able to see her one more time. Chris and I made arrangements for me to fly out to Utah for the funeral. Because Freddy would still fly as a lap child for free, and because apart from him, Chris could pretty much go to work like normal while the older kids were in school, I took my little buddy with me. 

He actually seemed to understand that we were walking onto an airplane and when take off happened I pointed out the window and talked about going faster and faster and faster until we went up up up into the sky. He was soooo excited about it. The flights were full and containing this rambunctious almost 2 year old on my lap was exhausting. Especially since the second flight happened during his bedtime. He finally fell asleep about 30 min before we landed at 9:00pm. 

We stayed with my sister Tiffany and her family. Freddy and I loved watching them take care of their chickens. It makes me feel like we could have chickens out in MS. Because of how long it takes us to get to the airport and with cheapest flights in mind, I ended up getting to UT on Saturday and the funeral wasn't until Tuesdays, with a viewing the Monday before. 

Tiff and I went to the viewing on Monday night and we brought the kids. It was so nice to see so much family. Cousins I hadn't seen in 10 years! There always seemed to be a gathering of aunts/uncles around My Grandmother's body/casket and between that and Freddy running around wild trying to knock down all the flowers and jump on the pews, I didn't get a chance to have a quiet moment with my Grandma and I was SOOO glad that Dixie and Jess were going to watch Frederick for me the next day during the Family Prayer, Funeral, Graveside service and luncheon afterwards. 

The room for the family prayer was packed and again there always seemed to be someone with more claim standing by the casket, so I mostly chatted with long lost cousins again. Right as it was about to begin I made my way over to stand by my siblings and I noticed no one standing by the casket so I walked by and had my little private moment. She looked so different. It hit me full force how EMPTY her body was, how separating Death is, and even as I knew about her eventual resurrection I felt profoundly how ending and final death feels on earth. Then I had an experience that set me to tears for the rest of the entire day. For a split second, I felt what it would feel like to have been staring at Chris' body if 2 years ago, God didn't save his life with a stem cell transplant. How utterly gone he would have been. How much a MIRACLE our life together is right now... and the phrase 'Don't you forget that!' rang in my ears as I walked over to my siblings where they hugged me through my tears. 

My grandmother's funeral was so beautiful. I was constantly taking notes and texting Chris what was being said to help control my silent tears so they wouldn't become sobs. My Grandma Evelyn Louise Moncur Hardy was an extremely gifted musician, a devoted, patient, loving, faithful, mother and wife, sister and friend. I was really inspired by her never ending example of service and her legacy of music. If she could have had it her way, her funeral would have been entirely of music and all of performed by her decedents or children-in-law and all of it concert worthy! At the very end all of us family members stood up, faced the rest of the people in the chapel and sang the song we've sung at every family reunion that I can remember... (in fact my mom told me they first sang it as a young family for a stake conference when my mom was just a girl) Its called, "God made our Hands." It fits my Grandma Hardy so well. 

The graveside service was short but sweet and quite cold. For the most part, there was such a sweet feeling of family togetherness and happiness at being with each other again, happiness for Grandma to be reunited with Grandpa. There was a tender experience shared during the funeral about a dream my grandma had right before she passed away. She dreamt that Grandpa came to her gave her a kiss and said, "Evelyn, you're dying... and thats ok. I'm busy doing lots of work over here and when you come, you can help me. "  

Our knowledge and hope through Christ allowed many of us to really rejoice at seeing each other and at celebrating a life well lived, a woman tried, tested and passing this life with flying colors. But there were also lots of tears and sad faces...especially the ones who lived close to her, or talked with her often and will feel her absence most sharply.

After the luncheon I picked up Freddy and we returned home. Tiff was single parenting the week since Todd had a work trip he couldn't miss. I had a head ache, dry eyes from so many tears and was still dealing with a really bad yeast yeah, I was pretty tired, but this was the only night we were together as siblings so we had planned a kid-less dinner that started a bit late because of a pinewood derby some had to go to. Dinner was SUCH fun. It was just my dad and his kids (Mom was meeting with her siblings to read the will and deal with all of THAT fun stuff...). I love my family. Here are some pictures of just before with Frederick playing with the two girl cousins closest in age to him and of my dad reading some grandkids a Christmas board book from his recent Germany trip. 

The next day, Tiffany and I went down to Orem to help my mom go through my Grandma's things. There were some painful/emotional awkward moments about people taking things but with all that everyone has been dealing with and feeling, its completely understandable. I can't even imagine how heavy, tired, and drained those closest were feeling. When I think about that, its not hard to extend mercy. Despite feeling hurt, I'm glad I could be there for my Mom. She was a complete ANGEL. So calm, So understanding, So willing and eager to ease other's burdens. So respectful, so self-less. She amazes and inspires me. 

It was a long afternoon (thanks again to Dixie for watching Clara and Freddy so we could help pack up some breakable china dishes!) and I almost canceled my plans to attend the temple, but Tiffany encouraged me and I'm so glad we made it happen. We printed off two family names, one of which I found myself! My first one. I did baptisms for them, confirmations, and intiatories!  Then it was an early bedtime for this tired mama because our flights left super early. Freddy was a pretty good traveling buddy again... only I wish he wouldn't have pooped on EVERY. SINGLE. FLIGHT.  He was really done with being confined to small spaces by the second flight, but by some miracle we had an extra seat on the flight for him! He loved it! I loved it! and I was so glad to see my Chris and my Gwen, Charlie and Alec!

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