Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A life well lived

As adults, some of us are lucky enough to have grandparents. I've still got two and up until last week, so did Julie. Julie's grandma passed away at the age of 92 on February 17th. It was a privledge to get to know her and she will be missed by her community, church family, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

This was our girls' first experience with losing a loved one. Jorja took it quite hard, as did Ginny. CeCe was upset, but not as emotional as the other two. But even at the supper table yesterday, she said, 'I sure miss great granny.'  

As a family, we went to say our final goodbyes the night before the funeral at the family viewing. We knew this would be hard, but we gave the girls the freedom to mourn however they seemed fit. In between her own tears, Jorja made her rounds and tried to comfort others, especially Julie's uncle who lived with and cared for his mother at the end. Ginny cried a lot too and did her share of hugging. CeCe asked questions like, 'she's not going to talk anymore?' followed by 'that's not good' when she got the answer. 'She's like sleeping beauty?' and 'I want her to wake up' and ' I miss her'. All the girls took turns spending some last minutes with great granny, crying, holding her hand. CeCe pulled a chair up and was just hanging out for quite a while. It's quite something to see the innocence of a child. 
The picture is a little grainy because I cropped a lot of it out for this post but this is how CeCe spent her time. When Julie asked her if she was ready to go, CeCe replied, 'just five more minutes.'  She's quite the kid. 

The funeral and interment were hard too, but the girls did great. Julie played piano in a very touching final tribute to her grandma. It was a cool day, but quite lovely as a gentle snow fell on us. 

We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with Julie's parents and brother and sister in law. Remembering, crying, laughing. 

Our final stop was church on Sunday morning.  I've been visiting their church for about 13 years now, and more often than not, granny would be up at the organ. This was her spot. 
Now it's empty as Jesus has called home one of his children. No more pain. No more suffering. Just eternal glory. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

CeCe is four!

It's hard to believe, but it's been four years since we brought this little bundle of joy home.  Yes, CeCe celebrated her fourth birthday a few days ago on February 7th.  Here she is getting ready to come home from the hospital.

And here she is now.  Opening her presents:

And her new bike for when it gets a little warmer out.  For now, We're hoping the walls can withstand a little rubber.
And here she is at her first actual birthday party.  She invited three kids from daycare and three from Sunday School and two sisters.  All that added up to one heck of a 'paint splatter party' at 4 Cats Art Studio here in town.  The kids all has a blast and came relatively clean after.
She wanted a purple dinosaur with red lips for her cake and Julie didn't disappoint.  It turned out awesome and tasted pretty good too as I think just about every kid asked for seconds.
CeCe is such a sweet and special kid.  (She has a side that makes me want to pull what hair I have left too, but this is her birthday.  We can talk about that a different day.)  She can say things that just melt your heart like when she puts a hand on your cheek, looks deep into you eyes and says, "You're the best Dad/Mom ever I know."  Or when talking about going to work or daycare, she'll say that she will miss me.  I'll say that I'll miss her too and she'll put the hand on the cheek again and say, "I'll be brave."  She prays with such innocence and earnestness, you know it's coming from her heart.  She's 'thankful to God for her sisters, her Mom, her Dad, her Cindy and her Nannies and Papas.'  

And now a couple lighter stories from the past few days about the birthday girl.  We were having pasta with meat sauce and corn the other night for supper and she asked for ketchup for her corn.  I said, "You don't need ketchup for your corn."  She said, "No?  Only for chicken?"  I said, "Yes, only for chicken."  She said, "And pigs."  Yes, I guess for pigs too.

CeCe, Ginny and I were sitting in the car waiting to pick Jorja up from school.  I decided to break up the Taylor Swift dance party that was going on with some Roxette.  I put on 'The Look.'  CeCe fell in love instantly.  She was bobbing her head and grooving and then when the chorus came she listened and said, "You mean I got the look?"  I laughed and said sure, you go the look.  So that was how she sang the song in echo  (on repeat for the next while).  
Roxette:  She's got the look.
CeCe:  I've got the look.
Roxette:  She's got the look.
CeCe:  I've got the look.
Roxette:  Nanananana, She's got the look.
CeCe:  Nanananana,  I've got the look.