Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Time with family...


This Is Where by The Wailin' Jennys on Grooveshark

The kids enjoyed spending time at Pop and Janet's house while we were visiting in Gilmer.

They had fun helping Pop and Daddy drive the tractor and lawn mower...
chased each other around the circle driveway--over and over...
and belly laughed while swinging on the porch swing and hammock.

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When it came time to lay Gavin and Taylor down for naps...
I knew it was probably going to be tough getting them to fall asleep in the same bed.
After reading a few books and scratching backs...Gavin finally fell asleep--
but sissy wasn't having any of that.

She could not go to sleep (even though she was completely pooped out...)

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So I loaded her up in the car and decided to drive around town for a bit
and see if I could get her to fall asleep.  

On the drive into town, we passed the cemetery where my grandparents are buried--
I haven't been back here since my grandmother passed away last October--
so I turned the car around and decided to go visit her gravesite.

My heart sank a little as I drove in and headed over to where she now lays...
it's still so surreal and weird that Nanny is gone.
She was such a huge part of my life for 41 years...we were very close and shared everything together...
it still hurts so much that she's gone.

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As hard as it is having lost her--it's comforting to know that Nanny is together again with Grandaddy...
he passed away my freshman year of high school.
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....and she's reunited with her beloved daughter, my Aunt Deanna
 (who died in a car accident before I was born--she was only 21)

She mourned the loss of her daughter all the days of her was heart-breaking to hear
her talk about the day she died and how hard it was for her to get past this loss and continue on with life.

My grandmother relied heavily on her faith in the Gospel to help her get through the dark days when she
struggled with the loss of her daughter, husband and then the death of her son....

  unnamed (6) dad's brother and my grandparent's youngest child--Uncle David--
he was an attorney in our hometown
(he died in a tragic motorcycle accident in his early 40s) uncle left behind an amazing wife and two young daughters.

 ... his death was such a heartbreaking loss for our family --  it was so unexpected.
I still remember vividly how we were all in shock when he passed away.
We were worried how my grandmother would handle losing another child so tragically
and my father having to suffer the loss of his last living sibling.

But being the strong and faithful woman she was... she found the strength to carry on (as did my father)--
and in the process they both taught me many important life lessons about handling grief and
the importance of staying close to the Lord while in the midst of facing tremendous heartache
 and loss in this life.

My grandmother never questioned her deep faith in a loving
Heavenly Father and Savior through all her losses...of course she was angry at times...
disappointed and depressed about losing her husband, son and daughter--
but she never blamed Heavenly Father.  In fact, I remember her telling me on so many occasions
"Jennifer--- Heavenly Father had always been so good to me."
She talked fondly of how He had protected her and cared for her
throughout her journey through life.

That always touched my heart when she would express her love for Him--
especially given all the painful losses she had experienced.

Her faith strengthened my own testimony--and for that, I will always be grateful.

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...Nanny's parents, my great-grandparents--Oni (Sanders) and Heck Lee
 (or as I fondly knew and remember them as Big Mama and Papa)

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As I stood in the cemetery with my loved ones who have passed away--my heart was heavy--
it's always so hard to lose loved ones.  But I was also thinking as I stood there
how blessed and enriched my life is because I knew and was loved by all these
amazing family members of mine....

as much as it pains my heart to not have them here anymore---
how thankful I am for the Gospel of Jesus Christ--for the gift of eternal life.
It's comforting to know that families are forever--death is not the end--
and that we are promised that we will get see our loved ones again someday.
 And oh my goodness--I get teary-eyed thinking how glorious those reunions those will be.

After I left the cemetery...Taylor and I drove into town to the Sonic for some ocean water (my favorite)...
when I looked in my rearview mirror while we waited in the drive-thu---baby girl had finally
passed out asleep.  I just grinned--she's such a hoot!!  I enjoyed the rest of my drive through town
while heading back to my in-law's house.

It was such a beautiful day for a drive in the country and around my hometown-- I was glad I had a few minutes to myself to visit my grandmother's resting place.

Later that evening, we headed out to my parent's house to stay for a few days...
I'll share more pics from our time there in later posts.

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