Saturday morning we were packing up and getting ready to head to Charlotte, NC to visit my brother and his wife.  Suddenly, I became overwhelmed with sadness and looming regret at the thought of not attending my grandma’s funeral.  The tears came like waterworks and called my parents just before they boarded their own flights and told them how I felt and that I was going to try to catch a flight out of Charlotte and meet them in Little Rock, AR.  Through a series of phone calls, my brother decided to do the same and we ended up boarding a flight together, out of Charlotte, just a few hours later. 

Thanks to the world wide web, I contacted my cousin in Little Rock, whom I ashamedly, haven’t seen in almost eight years.  She and her husband picked us up from the airport at 9:00pm and graciously opened their home to us.  It’s been so wonderful and refreshing to spend time with my family these past few days.  On Sunday, we all spent the day at my aunt and uncle’s house.  We played the Wii, shared stories of our grandparents, and snacked on all the food that was being continuously dropped off by neighbors and friends. 

I am so glad I’m here.

The funeral was today at noon.  It was an open casket.  There were only about 20 people there, but it was very sweet.  My grandma looked beautiful; nothing like the grandma I saw in the nursing home, just five days ago.

My mom was only 17 when her mother died.  She has always called my grandma, “Mom”.  She has taken care of her, since her health has deteriorated, and loved her like she was her own mother.  I believe the death of my grandma brought back many of the emotions she felt when she lost her own mother. 

My brother and I sat on the front row with our parents, my Dad’s sister, and her husband.  My mom only weighs about 125 lbs, but her weeping was so, that the entire pew was shaking.  It broke my heart.  When she approached the casket at the end of the service, to ‘say good-bye’, she held my grandma’s hands, wept and wept, and gently kissed her forehead.  I thought we were going to have to pull her away, but she did finally let go. 

The grave-side time was short and sweet.  We took a few flowers from the arrangements and went to lunch as a family. 

I was able to change my flight so I can fly right back into Augusta tomorrow, rather than flying back to Charlotte with my brother tonight, spend the night with them, and then wait for my parents to pick me up tomorrow and drive three and a half hours back to Augusta.  I miss Josh and the boys and I can’t wait to see them.  It has been such a blessing to know that my sister-in-law has been sleeping in the guest bedroom and helping Josh with the boys since I’ve been gone, and of course my in-laws are just 15 minutes away.  They have taken care of everything at home and have taken a huge burden off my shoulders since I’ve been gone.

I have some great little stories to share from the airport and flights, but I’ll save those for tomorrow’s post.  🙂    For now, I’ll enjoy my last quiet, relaxing night with my relatives. 

~audrey in Arkansas