Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Grandparent's Memorial

Last weekend Boyd and I travelled to Carmel to take part in a Memorial for my Grandparents. Grandpa died over 10 years ago and Grandma died last year. Neither one wanted a big fussy funeral and they both wanted to be cremated and the ashes poured into the ocean. They loved the California coast.

So my father and aunt and their spouses took some of their inheritance money and set aside a "Memorial Fund". The Memorial Fund paid for our weekend in Carmel. A large Villa was rented for the 18 of us to stay. It was large enough for everyone to have any alone time they might need - but mostly it was a party house; ample room with many nice features.

I had not seen my cousins, Barenda and Carrie, in many years. It was lovely to be able to enjoy them again. They had their spouses with them. ( Barenda and Matt * and * Carrie and Colin) Actually - one spouse and one spouse to be. Both couples look to be very good together...communicative and happy. Carrie had her daughter Micayla (age 12). She is a very precocious 12 year old. What a hoot! She was great. And she looks so much like a very young Elsie 'Grandma' Scherrey.

My youngest sister Jill came with her son Vincent (who will be 15 in November!) and her fiance John. Sigrid and Craig came and Gigi came. Reggi had business to attend to and could not make it. Aunt Karen, Uncle Owen, Maryann, Dad, Boyd and I...that makes 17 people. I was surprised to see John - and surprised to discover that he and Jill are engaged. Vincent was quietly puppyish - with a deep voice and surprising talents. He played the piano for us (with Micayla) and could converse on many subjects (for a 15 year old). Missing, because they were not included on the guest list, were most of the great grandchildren. My two - Andrew and Laura, Sigrid's two - Rhiannon and Kurt, Barenda's three - April, Kyle and his twin ( I am sorry to say I cannot remember his name). Half of these great grandchildren have spouses and some have children of their own ... so there are great great grandchildren! Grandma and Grandpa would have loved this gathering of family. I think they would miss the kids though.

Anyway ---
BBQ on first night, breakfast next day with eulogy time following. Daddy did a nice history of Tony and Elsie Scherrey. It was good. I hope to be able to write it all down to pass on. Then it was my turn. Yup. I had something to say. I thanked Grandma and Grandpa for being who they were and for sharing themselves with us - but mostly for being wonderful influences in my life. I cited examples and got everyone crying. Even Owen had a bit of a tear welling up. (And he is a tough cookie!) That led into a sharing time until it was time to leave for the boat in Monterey.

We carpooled over and found our way to the correct dock and boarded the small whale watching boat. The ocean was fairly calm and most everyone had ingested Dramamine an hour prior to boarding the boat. We drove for about 15 minutes to a place where the ashes were poured over the side. After that the boat drove in a circle around the ashes and each person threw a rose into the sea - on top of the ash. It was a quiet time. The sound of the boat motor was pretty much all we heard. A few words passed between folks, but it was mostly quiet till we got back on land. We went into a nearby restaurant had a beer and some calimari and chatted some more. After that we had to stop in the candy store and buy oodles of candy. Maryann made the candy lady's day! Probably the largest purchase of the day...fudge, peanut brittle, carmel corn, and of course - salt water taffy.

Back to the villa for an hour's nap and then out to dinner. Just south of Carmel to an old restaurant that hung off the cliffs over the water. It was built in '47 and had old style ways, decor, etc. There were many sea cliffs outside the that had been lit up. It was very impressive looking. We occupied 2 tables and it worked fine. Not so much alcohol tonight...I had a good piece of swordfish. I was struggling to keep my coughing at bay...drinking hot tea and not speaking very much. Unfortunatley this cough does not want to go away. It is quite annoying. After that - home and bed.

Next day - lite breakfast, pack, clean up and back on the road towards home.

It was a good time. It was a very appropriate memorial for them. They would have liked it better (as would I) had all the great grandchildren been there also. I do not think my father and Aunt realized how much time my kids spent with Grandma and Grandpa...and how much it meant to me. My relationship with my kids is very different than my father's relationship with me. So how could he understand? Nothing in life is ever perfect. And that's okay.

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