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.