Last Wednesday afternoon, I received a phone call from my Dad in Iowa telling me that my Grandma probably wouldn't make it through the night. He had stopped at the nursing home for his daily visit with her and noticed her breathing was very labored. The nurse came in and checked her vitals and her blood pressure was dropping and her body temperature was rising. I'm not sure why...but I guess those are two indicators that death is imminent. She passed away later that evening, 9:30 pm Central time.
I was close to her growing up. I lived three miles down the road from my granparents. I spent the summers between my house and theirs....all the way through my teenage years. Their farm is still one of my favorite places in the world. I helped her tend her garden, plant her flowers, work with the sows (that's a female hog) while they were farrowing (having their babies) make cookies, set the table for her Ladie's Aide meeting, make cookies, clean their glass oval shaped kitchen table with the foamy glass cleaner, play dress up in the very retro upstairs bedroom in my aunt's old clothes, and pretend to fall asleep on the living room floor when it was time to go home. All of that and SO much more. It's quite a way to grow up. And also to grow up knowing that your Grandma loved you unconditionally....was priceless.
I was devastated that I wouldn't be able to attend her funeral. It wasn't the ticket prices or the fact that my niece was getting married on Saturday. Jeff couldn't take work off this week and we had no one to take care of Jada. We couldn't afford two tickets or I would have just taken her with me. All of my family would be there...cousins, aunts, uncles and even my brother in Arizona was driving his family up. I could hardly stand the thought of everyone being together and me missing out....I couldn't think about it with out it driving me to a full blown sob session.
My saving grace was my niece KyLeah's wedding. On Friday morning, I managed to finish packing amidst my tears and we left for Anchorage at 11:15 and arrived at Jeff's sister's house for rehearsal at 6 pm. His other sister, Kristen, had flown up from Little Rock and we hadn't seen her since last March, and his cousin Kim, was there from Seattle to photograph the wedding. Seeing them and hugging them was like a salve to my hurting heart....yes....it was the other side of the family....but it was FAMILY.
Saturday was full....a shower for KyLeah in the morning (my sis in law and I gave her a pantry shower) and the rest of the day was spent picking up the bride from her hair appointment, setting up the house for the wedding and then of course, getting my girls ready for their debut as flower girls! I had NO time to think about what was happening in Iowa.
The wedding was beautiful. My girls did amazing. I can't wait to share photos with you from the weekend...I don't have but a few of my own taken with David's camera...but Jeff's cousin is an amazing photographer and when I have some from her, I will share.
Sunday- we slept in and then spent the afternoon hanging out with family and drinking coffee. That afternoon, we had short family photo shoot with Kim and hit the road home at 6:30 pm. An hour or so into the drive, we ran into heavy snow through the Alaska Range, and what should be a 6 hour drive, turned into a 9 hour drive. Miserable, but we made it safely.
Today was the day of my Grandma's funeral. I had thought that this morning would be tough for me. I rolled out of bed at 8:15 am and jumped in the shower. Got ready and at 8:35 am, I got a phone call from my sister. Her words were, "Well, just wanted you to know that the funeral just got over and we're heading to the cemetary." And I laughed, because I slept through my Grandma's funeral!!!