Today is my grandmother's funeral. I have given Sara the day off so she can go to the whole thing. Steven and Filipa will cover for me so I can go to the morning service and the grave. I get to the funeral home just before they leave for the church service, so I am directed to get in the car line up and wait. I am glad I have joined the procession, since I have no idea where the church is.
When I arrive at St. Aidan's, my two sisters are already seated in the last row. I join them and we wait for the service to begin. From this vantage point, we will know what to do, when to sit, when to stand. It will be much easier than the last time we were in a catholic church together.
The church is large, not the same one I remember visiting with Grandma when I was younger. It has lots of light and colorful stained glass windows. It is very clean and modern. When the priest comes in I notice his vestment is adorned with the same floral pattern that embellishes the cloth they cover the casket with. This seems like such a fancy detail to attend to for such a somber event, but it looks nice.
The drive to the cemetery is full of twists and turns, and I wonder if I will find my way out. The cemetery is maintained by a local Catholic parish. It is nestled in a neighborhood of ranch houses, not far from the Massachusetts border. It is long and narrow, growing wider and more dense as you travel down Curran Road to the main part of the cemetery. My grandmother is to be buried next to my grandfather, Fredrick W. Boyd Jr, who my father was named after. His grave is located in an older, less dense section of the cemetery. Curran road runs along one side here, and some woods on the other. The surrounding area is more interesting than the main section where there is nothing to be seen but graves in every direction.
It is cold and the sky has been threatening to snow all morning. As we arrive, gentle white flakes start to fall. The funeral director hands out umbrellas to people as we pass by. The casket is already in place by the time I join the group of family and friends gathered. The priest says a few final words, and invites everyone to the Filibuster club for refreshments.
I stop to give hugs to family before I returning home. As people file out away from the graveside, a group of young women have gathered around a basket of flowers set by the casket. They are plucking pink roses from the large arrangement, because their Nana would have insisted on it. They are laughing as they say this, uttering the same words they have heard her say in the past and knowing this is just what would have made her happy.
t doesn't take me too long to find my way back to familiar roads as I
leave. I blast the heat and am grateful for the hand warmers hidden in
my mittens. I return home to happy children, just in time to start
I skip stained glass this evening so I can spend some time
with Julia. I don't want her to feel like she has moved into a house
where we will not be here for her. She goes out to have dinner with
Ayla and Chauncey, so I work on the basement until she gets home. We
talk until we are too tired to talk any more, then go to bed.
All is back to normal this morning. In the evening, we go to see The Hunger Games movie with Ayla, Chauncey and Julia.
I clean the basement for a little before going shopping with Anna, then do a little more after. Everything that was wet is out now, and the floor is dry. I am still trying to dry out the area rug that is down there so I can remove that. There are so many things that need to be sorted and gone through still. I have a mountain of craft supplies, wrapping paper. games and other odds and ends piled on the table the rug is on. Time to start sorting and putting things away. I do this for as long as I can before I get too bored, cold or tired.
In the afternoon we go to my friend Elizabeth's to bake Christmas cookies. She supplies the sugar cookie dough, I bring the gingersnap dough. Our children, her four, my three, Josh and Chauncey cut and decorate the cookies. Elizabeth and I get them baked and cooled and try to keep the mess under control.
We started baking cookies together when our kids were much younger and always enjoyed it so much. We haven't been able to get everyone together for the last few years, but this year through the determination of Ayla and Malani we found a time that would work for everyone.
Before starting our production we power up on some delicious Indian food Elizabeth and Sundar, her husband have prepared. We feast on home made dosas, thalis and somosas I have picked up from Not Just Snacks. Once we are filled with good food, it is time for the cookie making to begin!
Cutting out the cookies is done as quickly as possible, so the kids can get to their favorite part, decorating. This is always fun, as everyone comes up with their own style and theme. Alex has cut out a few shapes by hand and creates some very unique treats. Some add accents with candies, others are just into the frosting, which can range from lightly iced to loaded. In the end they are all colorful, fun, and most important, delicious.