Monday, November 27, 2006

The Whole Motley Crew

This is us. My whole family except for Susan's 2 small grandsons who were not there for the funeral. After the service the church ladies fed us a lovely meal at the church. And I took the opportunity to get some pictures while everyone was there. Because, sad as it is, this may well be the last time all of these people will be in the same place at the same time. Even though we've pledged to have a family reunion every year there will always be someone who's not able to come. For the first one next spring it will be my youngest nephew Chris (the tall blond on the far left.) He graduated high school this year and has joined the Air Force. He heads to San Antonio in a few weeks for his basic training. After that the Air Force will decide when he's able to come home to visit. So guess we'll be scheduling a few of those reunions around his leave times.

When I look at this picture I suddenly realize that with the passing of my last parent the members of MY generation are now the family elders! YIKES! Makes me feel old all of a sudden. LOL! We do still have an uncle on Daddy's side and 3 uncles and a aunt on Mama's. But for our little subsection of the family me, my sister and 2 brothers are now IT! I wonder if my parents felt this same little quiver of fear when my grandparents passed because there's no longer someone older and wiser to turn to for advise and comfort in times of trouble.

I had a lovely visit with my siblings and their families. And I had a nice chat with a few cousins who I've seen maybe 3 times each in the last 10-12 years. One being at Mama's funeral last year. And that's kinda sad since we were pretty close when we were growing up. Some of us married and most of us moved away and as we built new lives for ourselves we just lost touch. All of them seemed really interested in a family reunion so instead of just our immediate family we'll be including them in our plans too. We may never re-build that closeness we had as children but we can at least not be strangers. It's sad to say that I realized after she'd already left that I don't even know my oldest cousin's last name since she remarried. And that's been many years ago!

I want to thank you for all your good thoughts and prayers during this time. Even though it was not unexpected or even unwelcome it was still the passing of my Dad. And that's never going to be an easy thing to cope with even if it was a relief on many levels. Alzheimers is such a horrible disease. I pray none of you ever have to deal with it's effects on one of your loved ones.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

while it is a difficult time, it is good to share it with family...

Pam said...

HUGS Nancy, I am so glad you posted, I have been thinking about you lots lately. Good to know you are home safely. Nice family photo, you will treasure it for ever and for always.

Susan H. said...

Nancy, I didn't know her new last name either, but fortunately she signed to register... it's Haynes. I really enjoyed the visit. Next one is going to be for pleasure only!

You are so right about the fears... I have had them since we lost Mama. It is very scary to be thrust into the role of family matriarch. Wanna swap birth positions for a while?

I stopped by Hobby Lobby on my way in this afternoon and bought a flag case. Dad's flag is proudly sitting on my mantle right now. I think we should each take a year to hold it and swap it out at the family reunion. That will give us added incentive to hold it annually!

Nadine said...

I have been thinking about you, Nancy, and I'm glad to get some news. Loosing our parents is such a difficult experience. Just try to remember the good moments and focus on the idea that he's peaceful now...
Biiig hug,
NADINE.

Clare said...

Family reunions, be they on a happy or sad occasion, are always a thing to treasure. I dread the passing on of my Mother and her brothers. The cousins are spread all over the place and reunions will probably become a thing of the past, with Alex's generation not caring whether they see their cousins or not!. Sad, but true I fear. D.Hs Mother had Dementia - horrible!

Anonymous said...

Glad you are home safe!

Somebody has to be the matriarch and her handy assistant, best left to Susan and you, you'll wear the badge proudly!

Many hugs and smooshes.

cher said...

good to hear from you Nancy-I know exactly how you are feeling as we went through the same when my mother died-now with the exception of an aunt-I am the oldest...yikes, how ever did that happen? Reunion sounds great-I sure hope you all do that-staying in touch with family is such a wonderful thing to do.

Darlene - Dazed Quilter said...

Nancy, I'm glad to see that you're home safe. I'm truly sorry about your dad but hopefully he's in a better place. Take care of yourself and your DH!

Suze said...

Glad to have you home safe. Don't let those reunions slip by. They are important to everyone.

When my DMIL passed in June my husband became the oldest living male in the family......... I don't we are ever ready for that.

Libby said...

Glad you had a safe trip and got to rekindle some old family ties.

Mary said...

Nancy, I'm so sorry for your loss. Having your family around helps I know. I'm not sure that the sadness ever goes away but your memories of your parents will keep them close.

I lost my Dad 18 years ago but my Mom is still alive so I can't relate to your feelings of being the *older* generation yet. It's good that you all plan to keep in touch and plan reunions. It's rare that all of my 5 brothers and sisters and I are together but it's special when we do manage it.

Ruth said...

Glad you got home safely and that spending time with family was able to brighten an otherwise sad time.

anne bebbington said...

Just caught up with you Nancy - sorry to hear about your dad - having had mine ill recently I can empathise a little because there but for the grace of God go we all - keep your special memories of him alive - hugs - Anne

Susan said...

Thank you for the update and the photograph. Your son looks too young to be going off to the Air Force! =)

I know that feeling of saying, "Ouch! Now *I'm* Nana Nixon!" How did that happen? Fortunately, no one expects much wisdom from me. =)

Anonymous said...

Nancy, I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. My Dad died in 2001 after suffering for several years with Alzheimer's. I also felt that his death was not unwelcome, but felt the saddness of the final loss. I have also had the same thoughts about the generations passing and keeping in touch with relations. Your post touched me...

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Nancy, there just aren't words. Thank heavens for the comfort of having your family around you.
*hugs*
Tazzie

Anonymous said...

Nancy,
What a great picture. I'm sure it will be a treasure in your life. Thanks for sharing!
Hugs
Laurie

Finn said...

It's a great family picture Nancy, and I'm sure it's also a sad one with one person or so, missing.
I now am the oldest of my sub-unit family, and have been since 1990 when I was 50 years old.
The oldest becomes the Keeper of the Keys, so to speak. The family stories, the one who knows who is who on the old pictures.
Please consider doing yourself and everyone a favor and write names and dates on the back of as many as you can remember. And see if the siblings can fill in any blanks about the ones you don't recognize the time, face or place.
Maybe because I like old stuff, or who knows why, but I'm the only one of my 3 sisters who knew which cousing beonged to which relative, and who married who, divorced who, and or remarried. I suppose its no big deal, but what about the generations coming behind us. Don't let the pictures become just a batch of old photos that no one know..*VBS*
Hugs for the pain, loss, and empty place at the table, Finn

Tropical Screamer said...

Nancy, I'm sorry for your loss.

We went through the same thing last year. The conflicting feelings are hard.

We're the "elders" now, too. Strange, isn't it?

Hugs and Tigger purrs to you.

Darilyn

Anonymous said...

nice to hear from you again Nancy. Glad you were able to take the photo of the family even though it was on such a sad occasion. Hope the family reunions will go ahead.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this photo with us, Nancy. It reminds all of us who we are as parts of a larger family and what that truly means, when we face loss and the family dynamics all change. I look at this photo, and the depths of the emotions on each face and it touches me in some strange,deep way. I also feel a deep well of gratitude that my own parents, with all of their own losses and problems, are at least still with me. Even if we live thousands of miles away, families are still parts of us, parts of our memories and parts of our hearts. That you have lost both your parents in such a short span of time is soo huge. But it also means you get to create a new sense of self, a new foundation of who you want to be in your own family. That you shared this with us means a lot. And each of us in her own way, gains a lot from your sharing. Please know that many of us are thinking of you with caring thoughts!

samantha said...

I am glad you are home safe and sound, and that you were able to see so much of your family. That must have been a consolation during such a sad time. Hope you are well :-)

Shelina said...

When my grandmother passed away last year, I think a lot of us were thinking that this will be the last time so many of the family members are gathered. Her cousins families, for example, we wouldn't know or think to invite, etc. So good that you are planning to do family reunions to keep up.