It’s been a dream of mine forever to see a space launch. So on Sunday we were planning to go to Cape Canaveral to watch the Space X launch. What a perfect way to end our anniversary/birthday celebration week! Due to mechanical issues it got scrubbed from Sunday to Wednesday. Plan B kicked into place and on Wednesday we packed up the car with our chairs, snacks, drinks, and the 4 of us. Off we headed to our adventure- Disney Springs first for lunch, over to Cocoa Beach and Rn Jon and the launch at 6:34. It rained, and cleared, and rained and cleared and as the sun came out on the beach and we stood their with our binoculars and cameras…. it got scrubbed with 30 sec. Left in the countdown! Dang! But, we had a blast anyway. So a space launch is still on our FL to do list!
In two weeks we’ll be gathered together for the wedding of our niece and soon to be nephew, Lorissa and Shawn. It will be an exciting day in a place that holds so many memories. We will watch my brother walk the last of his 5 children down the aisle in my home church, where myself and my two brothers were married,where Jon was ordained and where my mom’s funeral was held. It’s a church that our family has been a part of for at least 60 years and the first of the family weddings there in 33 years.
But, it’s not about where the wedding is being held. It’s about coming from near and far for our family all gathering together for this celebration of love. It’s about my dad meeting his 5th great grandchild for the first time (other than on FaceTime). It’s about us meeting our 2nd great-nephew for the first time. It’s about making more memories, remembering times past, looking to the future, laughing, eating, drinking and just being. I know we’ll leave from there remembering the fun, the smiles, the quirks of our family and who knows what else.
So thank you Lorissa and Shawn for letting us be a part of your day! May God’s richest blessings go with you for a very long and wonderful life together.
The 4th of July always brings back so many memories of celebrations past. I can remember our family gathering together at my mom and dad’s house. We’d start work on the pool early getting it sparkling clean and ready for the day’s company. Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, cousins galore filled our yard and the smell of hamburgers or chicken soon filled the air. Bathing suits were donned and soon the pool was filled with laughing and screaming kids both big and small! The day continued on as we filled our tummies with all the goodies that everyone brought and we waited impatiently to head to the Brooklyn Heights park for fireworks. I remember so many times it being so dang cold in the evening we even grabbed our hats and gloves! With mosquito chasers and blankets in hand we headed to the park. Oohs and aahs filled the night for one of the best fireworks displays around! The smell of sulfur filled the night air as the evening came to an end and we headed back home for our last little bit of family tradition- Auntie Irene’s Hungarian coffee and hot dogs on the grill. As we grew older our own husbands and kids along with cousins husbands and their kids joined in on the fantastic Rath 4th of July. It’s funny though some of the other happenings of that day through the years stick out in my mind….
… Brooklyn Heights always had a parade. We’d decorate our bikes with playing cards clothes pinned to the spokes and streamers in the handle bars. I think I remember trying to wrap mine in crepe paper, which never worked!
…One side of the family gathered at Cleveland Metroparks for their family reunion. I can remember begging mom and dad to head over to the park just to check out the Bobbin gathering. I think I wanted to see what all they had to eat too!
…My first 4th of July with Jon was the night he asked my dad’s permission to marry me. It was nerve wracking enough to wait in the breezeway while he talked with my dad in the basement. But it was even funnier that 3 hours later he emerged knowing the entire history of our family-both good and bad.
…When Brett was 2 he fell off the swing set in the yard. He came running to us crying and we only thought he had a minor injury to his arm. That night we headed to the stadium downtown to watch the fireworks. He cried the whole time and we thought he was afraid of the big booms. The next morning his arm was totally swollen. After a trip to the ER we came home with our sweet little 2 year old with his broken arm in a cast.
…One year we were headed to California and spent the 4th of July in Denver watching fireworks from our hotel balcony. It was a sight to behold to see them over the mountains!
…Several years back Jon and I were at Walt Disney World on the 4th. The park was filled to capacity, they actually stopped letting people in. We had never seen fireworks in a 360 display until then. There aren’t enough words to describe what it looks like and the emotion of the evening with the music accompanying the display.
…Ten years ago Justin, Susie, Brett and myself headed to Cleveland for a family wedding on the 3rd. Of course, we insisted that we have a good old fashioned 4th of July celebration at mom and dad’s on the 4th. It was exciting to have Susie join in on one of our family traditions. What an awesome and fun time we had.
Of course there are tons of more memories that come with this day as our family has grown through the years. Our kids and their families are creating their own 4th of July memories that will fill their memory banks as well! May your day be filled with fun, fireworks and memory making times.
Happy July 4th!
This past week has been a heavy week for our family as we gathered together for my mom’s funeral. But, just as it’s been a heavy week, it’s also been a week of relief, release, and remembering.
Release for my mom that she is no longer suffering from the dregs of osteoporosis and dementia. For those of you that knew my mom she was a very vibrant person, always wanting to be in the middle of things and wanting to know what was going on. She loved her family and doted – sometimes to the point of spoiling- her grandchildren. For her to be in a situation where she couldn’t be up and about was not my mom. I know that my family has often thanked God for the fact that mom really didn’t know what was going on after she was placed in the nursing home.
It was a week of relief for us to know that mom is no longer in a debilitated state, but is now reunited with her family in her eternal home. My cousin’s and I have already figured there’s heavenly crazy eights game going on with the Adams Family! What a family reunion that must be!
It was also a week of remembering. As family and friends all gathered together at the visitation and funeral we spent time remembering with so many of our friends and family bringing some special story about her. We spread tons of old photo albums around the funeral home along with my mom’s roller skates, skating medals, high school year books and memorabilia from her life. It was wonderful to watch everyone looking at the photo’s and memorabilia. Even her own grandchildren (and yes, her children) discovered things about her that they never knew.
So as we close out this chapter in our lives we truly do remember my mom and the life that she created for each one of us. As one of her grandchildren said- she had high expectations, always made sure everyone had enough, she was thorough and always made church a priority for her family. On behalf of our family I’d like to just thank all of you that in some way or another expressed your condolences, shared your thoughts and stories with us, prayed for our family and mom, and kept us in your thoughts. We can’t express how much we appreciate your hearts and your support! Personally I’d just like to thank my brothers and sister-in-laws for all of their help and support to mom and dad these last few months. Being far away has been difficult for our family and we are so grateful for all that you’ve done and taken on . And to Jon, Justin & Susie and Brett & Heather- you guys rock- I know I don’t need to say this, but thank you for all the love and support that you’ve shown to mom and dad (gramma and grandpa). If it hadn’t been for all of you I know I surely would not have made it through these last nine months and most certainly this past week.
Just one more little thing that occurred to me as I’m writing this. I’m recalling Job 1:21 “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away”. As much as it was a sorrowful week for our family, it also was a week of celebration. As we mourn the loss of my mom’s life we also celebrate the new lives being brought into our family with the birth of my mom and dad’s 3rd great- grandchild in July, my cousin’s new baby just 2 days before mom’s passing and the anticipation of the birth of their 4th great-grandchild in March. The Lord truly does give and take away.
Thank you again to each and everyone of you.
If you’re a daughter or a mom I’m sure that you’’ll agree with me that the fair majority of mom’s and daughter’s have some kind of a “love/hate” relationship going. It’s just a law of nature. I’ll admit that I truly have that type of relationship with my mom. There have been times and still are when she was and/or is my hero and everything that I want to be. And times when she is not on the top of my list and there’s no way I want to be like her.
But, no matter where we were in our relationship my mom is the one that has always been clued in on what is going on in my life. When I was in high school my mom worked at my school. Most kids would’ve been totally embarrassed to have their mom as a “hall monitor”. But, it never bothered me and I actually enjoyed having her there during the day. Yes, she knew some of my friends that I wish she didn’t know and at times I felt I was held to a higher level of expectation that the other students and not able to get away with some things but for some reason it really never occurred to me that I was supposed to be upset by her presence. She’s the one that after I got married and I couldn’t remember how to cook something or wanted to ask her why something didn’t turn out (like my failed Christmas cookies) I only had to pick up the phone. There were times that although I could remember I’d just call her to make her feel as if she was still needed for advice. She’s the one that when there was news about the kids or just general goings on in our lives that we would call and fill her and my dad in on what what happening. And they’re the ones that when there was an imminent move in our future they were the first to know outside of our dis. I’ve always found it difficult as a child and married adult not to tell her what was going on.
This past year, though, my mom was placed in a nursing home. There are times she’s with the moment and then there are times she’s not with the moment, which are more often than not. So, when our niece and her husband had their first baby and then we discovered that we are going to be grandparents for the first time it was strange and difficult to know that she really doesn’t have a clue that she has a new great-grandchild and another one on the way. With our son and daughter-in-laws move to CT and our move to TX what is equally strange and weird is to realize that for the first time in my life my mom doesn’t have a clue where we are or what we are doing.
It feels strange……
My dad and my Uncle are both World War II veterans. As I was growing up my dad never really talked much about the war and his experiences there. In fact, it wasn’t until our son had to do an interview with one of his grandparents and he chose my dad to interview about his time in the Army. You see my dad was severely injured during the war as he stepped on a land mine in the Phillipines and subsequently lost one of his legs. The first news that my grandmother and his fiance (my mom) received was that he was killed. But, the news soon changed and they discovered that he was injured very badly, sent to New Guinea to the hospital and then to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington. I remember my mom telling us that I think she and my grandma both took the train to Washington to see him. Not only did he receive this injury but he also suffered from Malaria and to this day still has some shrapnel in various places. But, you would’ve never known that my dad was an amputee. There was not anything that I can ever recall that my dad couldn’t or wouldn’t do. We rode bikes as kids, he went sled riding with us, swam in our pool and did handstand dives off the board. To this day I am sure that there are many people that have known my dad for the past 60 years and have never realized this about him.
Last year my dad and my uncle applied to be part of a tour that is sponsored by a non-profit organization for veterans to travel to Washington D.C. to see the war memorials. This September both my dad and my uncle (who was in the navy) had the honor and privilege to be part of that group as they headed to our nation’s capital to be honored as the awesome Veterans that they are. They were treated like royalty, as they should be, as they flew from Cleveland to Washington, toured the war memorials, watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, and met other vets that share many of the same experiences. I’m excited to share some of the pictures that my dad sent and would just like to say how proud our family is of him!