Friday, April 24, 2009

Family Matters

Oh what a week it has been. How to describe how wonderful, important, emotional, heart-filling this week in Seattle has been? Can’t tell you how grateful I am to be able to have been a part of the celebration of Aunt Geri’s life and to spend the week in the comfort of the love of my family. Wow.

We celebrated Aunt Geri’s life on an overcast day in Edmonds, on the top of the Public Library (perfect as she was a school librarian all her working life) in the beautiful Plaza Room with a view of Puget Sound and spring flowers (she was a Master Gardener) blooming in the patio outside. It was an SRO crowd. It was of course remarkably emotional, as Aunt Geri really touched our lives deeply. She didn’t live on the surface-she made you feel you were her whole world when you were with her. Oh God I miss her.

Uncle Bob, Polly and Tracy put together such a wonderful program and Scott and Tracy did the most amazing food. Everyone-family and friends-pitched in for the set up and tear down as we had to be out of the room soon after the program ended. We all then gathered waterfront for dinner and drinks and continued the tears and laughter. It’s been like that all week.

Sisters Debbie and Sandy arrived from California last Sunday about ½ hour before I did and met me in baggage claim. This, despite the fact that I apparently neglected to send them my itinerary, but they knew I was coming in from Frankfurt and there were only 2 options and they picked the right one. We made our way up to Edmonds via 2203 East Louisa Street, our childhood home. Cousin Tracy had seen that the house was for sale about a month ago and had sent us the weblink for the house to look at. We decided to drive by, and since it was Sunday, they were having an open house! Needless to say, we parked and did a walk through. First place checked-was the laundry shoot from the 2nd floor to the basement still there and could you get to it from the 1st floor bathroom? Yes! How many people get to go thru their childhood home and re-live those memories in that fashion? That house was the gathering spot for all the family, and we all have such wonderful memories of our time spent there. I should also mention that we seem to get lucky when we visit Seattle-beautiful sunny skies, Mount Rainier, the Cascades and the Olympic Mountains out in all their glory. Then it was on to Edmonds and a nice evening spent w/Uncle Bob, Polly, Tracy, Scott and Hannah.

Monday proved to be a productive day for me. While in Morocco I had made contact w/a woman regarding her ecommerce business and the potential for the Adwal Coop women to do business with her. As luck would have it, she lives about 15 minutes from Uncle Bob. Called her Sunday and she agreed to come down to Edmonds and meet over coffee on Monday. Wahoo. So we met while Uncle Bob, Sandy, Debbie and Polly had lunch. She was terrific and loves the women’s work. I have a lot to talk about with the women when I get back to REK to see if we can make this happen. Yipee! Then it was on to Cousin Boyd and Karen’s house for dinner with them, Uncle Butch, Yvonne, Aly and Cousin Shannon, Scott, and their 4 kids-Alex, Jordan, Annie and Will. It was nice enough to sit out on the back deck for dinner-I forget how long the evenings are in Seattle, even this early in the year. What a delightful evening.

Tuesday was a busy day, with final preparations for the big event the next day. We helped put together memory tables-photos, mementos, articles, etc. to represent Aunt Geri’s life of varied interests.

Wednesday dawned with the realization that this was our formal good bye, our testimony to our love for Aunt Geri, and the realization that we all wanted, no needed, it to be perfect for her. And it was. God Bless.

We talked Cousin Arne’s daughter Lindsay to spend the night with us and spend Thursday with the girls. That included meeting with Shannon and Aunt Sandie for lunch before having to drop Debbie off at the airport. She needed to get home to be with Phil today (Friday) as he starts the last of his bladder cancer treatments-after 3 years-he will be called a survivor-we need to figure out a celebration for him when the treatments are done 2 weeks from today.

I’ve managed to squeeze in a little shopping for things I wanted or needed. A few new pairs of pants-seems I’ve dropped a size and it’s nice to have pants that fit (that look that teenage boys sport with their pants dropping down their behinds is even less attractive on 50-something women), a couple shirts, and some baking goods that are unavailable in Morocco (esp. choc chips, brown sugar and baking soda). Got it all in my bags-wahoo.

It’s like we’ve lived this week in a bubble of love and no one wants to break out of it. There has been no adjustment whatsoever for me in coming back here for a visit. I can see it’s going to be hard to be back alone in Morocco. Thank goodness for Skype. Being able to see one another as we talk is a lifesaver.

So I’m getting my thoughts down before Uncle Bob and Polly take me to the airport and I start my long journey back to REK.

More than anything, Family Matters.


Lindsay said...

I love you and miss you so much already!

Anonymous said...

Love you, Honey.

Polly J.