Thursday, May 12, 2022

A Memorial Service is an Odd Way to Spend a Birthday - But It Was Actually Really Nice

The memorial service yesterday actually was quite nice. I arrived to find my oldest niece already there, so we had a chance to catch up for a few minutes, then my middle niece drove up with my sister-in-law in the car with her. I hadn't seen any of them in person since pre-Covid, so it was delightful to get hugs and catch up a little while we were waiting for the cemetery person to escort us to the graveside. Of course, none of the family had seen my tattoo except in photos before yesterday, so everyone took a good look and my sister-in-law was over-the-moon with joy at how well it was done. Rodney is indeed a tattoo master. 

The vase for the cremains was quite nice - reminiscent of 
a Chinese Ming vase with that lovely blue and white 
color. The white tulips were requested by Sara who wasn't 
able to attend, the other white flowers were from Janet. 
After asking, I found out that the cemetery uses an auger 
that drills down about 3-1/2 to 4 feet deep. The container 
is then placed at the bottom of the hole and it is filled 
in. When the headstone is ready, it is put on top and the 
sod is allowed to regrow up to the stone's borders. 

We followed the cemetery dude and cousin Janet (the daughter-in-law of Aunt Phyllis) to the prepared plot. The man carried the urn Janet had chosen into the cemetery grounds and it was a very slow ride over to the far side where they do combination burial and cremains in the ground. The "headstones" are all footstones in this area, so it looks unmarked, although there are dead planted everywhere. There was a small platform covering the hole where the dude placed the vase and then he left us so that we could spend whatever time we needed. 

This part of the cemetery uses flat grave markers for 
almost all of the gravesites. I suppose it's easier for 
maintenance purposes (mowing the grass, etc), but 
it's also less expensive for the family. Janet's husband's 
stone was a few rows before the place for Aunt 
Phyllis and her husband, Uncle Gene. 

I'd say we spent about 230-25 minutes between the four of us (my sister-in-law opted to stay in the car because her legs were bothering her and the ground was uneven). My older niece kicked things off by speaking about an eagle that had flown around her car that morning on the way into the Cities, and a song that had come up on her radio that seemed appropriate for the circumstances. We talked about the other relations Phyllis had known and loved, including Sara who lives in New Zealand and (obviously) didn't fly out for the service. We dove into memories and shared experiences and basically remembered Phyllis and the larger family. 

To my surprise, actually to almost everyone's surprise except Janet's (she was the one who mentioned it), Elly, the wife of my mother-in-law's brother, is still living. She's now 105 years old, still living in the Denver area. I think we were all shocked, thinking that all of that generation was now dead and gone. I always was fond of Elly - she was a spitfire and not one to mince words, but I found her delightful. (Elly's son, on the other hand, was an idiot. I knew him in college - we were in the same dormitory for our first year at Colorado State. I think he spent the entire first quarter drunk.) 

I'm switching my Swarovski crystal photos from a 
4x4 grid to a 3x3 grid. This allows me to have one 
overall photo and then detail photos of each of the 
nine colors per page so that the customer can easily 
see the specific color they are interested in. I think 
it's a better format, although I had to retake all of 
the 8mm photos. 

After we wrapped it up and I was invited to lunch, I politely declined, returned home after returning a package to Amazon at my local Kohl's, and dove into taking product photos of the 6mm Swarovski cubes. I worked until the last possible moment, then put my stuff away. I'll continue this on Friday. 

So, I'm off and running again today. The pool, then work, then home. We had some serious weather run through last night with the sirens going off for almost 10 minutes close to 9:00 pm. It wasn't a tornado, but was some serious straight-line winds. DH will be cleaning gutters today before we get the next round of storms running through tonight. Have an excellent Thursday and I'll be back to celebrate Friday with you tomorrow. Slava Ukraini. 

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