Uncle John's memorial service was very nice. We were not always close with Uncle John - 2 military families always at different ends of the country, but we visited occasionally and for about 2 years we were stationed in Wichita Falls while they lived there and the kids and we got to know him a little bit better. As they always do the slide show of pictures did me in. The pictures of him growing up, the pictures of him with my dad and looking so happy with Nina just remind me that any life ended is sad. And while we weren't close - he was my Dad's brother and that always leads me down the road of imagining how I would feel if it was my brother... and blah, blah, blah hand me a tissue it's all over. The best part was sharing memories. Since it was in Alva, where they all grew up, the people who came to the service were people who had known them all their lives. They knew my Mom and Dad and their parents and the "remember whens" were great. I think it was very cathartic for everyone.
Ian and I stayed with Mom and it was lots of fun just to be together like that. At the same time if I let myself sit down and think it about it - it's very hard for me to reconcile that my sweet baby Ian is (as he puts it) a "grown-ass man" now. He carries all the luggage out and loads the car, he offers to pay for things, he wore his uniform to the service, he's a First Sergeant for heaven's sake. He counsels airmen, he gets people out of jail, he mediates domestic abuse cases, he's a "pretty big deal" now. And for a big sister who still prints all his birthday cards because she's afraid he'll have trouble with the cursive - it's a little hard to take in! He's so handsome, mature (ish) and grown-up -it sort of makes me teary-eyed.
It's also fun, but a little disconcerting staying at my Mom's house. There are so many things there that remind of my childhood, the spice cabinet that has hung in every house we ever lived in, the bread box I gave her when I was 18, the pictures that my Great Uncle Arthur painted and again hung in every house we ever lived in (and there were a lot ~19), the kids books I remember devouring when I was young and much of the same furniture. It looks like home, but then it doesn't. Then there are the other things that make me think of her or just make me smile... her camel collection, all the artwork done by Ian or me or the grandkids, photos that span my entire life and my kids life. As she said, her house is a little like a living scrapbook, everywhere you turn there's something that brings back a fond memory. It all makes me smile, it makes me nostalgic and it makes me a little sad. So much fun and so many good and bad memories, but time marches on and we just keep getting older and older. With stupid funerals it can't help but make you realize that someday she's going to be gone (not for a LONG. LONG. TIME.) and how could I bear to get rid of anything. I'd have to keep it all and then they'd feature me on an episode of Hoarders....
On the other hand it makes me very happy and even more thankful that I do have both my parents. Everyone is healthy and active and we all get along and like being together and it doesn't get much better than that!