My sole reason for this visit to Utah was for the funeral of my grandfather, and it was very hard for me to acknowledge that and accept the closure of saying goodbye to him – he will be so missed and I am so sad that my kids will never know him in any other capacity than stories. There is a thing about funerals though – they bring entire families together – and when you have a family like mine, that’s something to take advantage of. I got to see people I hadn’t seen in years, and have a few extra days that I wouldn’t otherwise with my immediate family.
A lot of the following pictures are of terrible quality, but I love them just the same because each one is a warm-fuzzy-moment in a week that carried a lot of sadness and missing as well.
Alex, reading one of the poems that my grandpa used to read to her when she was cleaning his house a few years back. It was one of many new stories I heard about him on that trip and I loved every single one.
Two out of four (my younger sisters squished in with me too) sleeping companions. Lola is on the right hand side covered in blankets (Lola is always covered in blankets) and Jack…well…you can never miss Jack.
Baby time with Juniper at the funeral. Baby time = healing time. I smelled her head a lot and let her tug on my jewelry and listened to her say “tur-tle” over and over. It was wonderful.
My niece, Lucia, on the elephant at Bombay House – our favorite family restaurant. We all agreed that it was a very fitting way to spend our evening when my grandpa was the one who had introduced us to the restaurant because of a long-time friendship with the owner’s (who has always treated us like family) parents.
I don’t think I’ve ever been with my sisters where we haven’t been doing some sort of photo-shennanigans. I believe there are less than 5 normal pictures of us in existence.
I went to Colt and Maggie’s Oscar party (I’ve always been sad to miss what sound like fabulous Colt and Maggie parties) and dined on best-picture themed food (which was all fantastic, as I knew it would be). An extra bonus of the evening was having my cousin Jonny (Maggie’s brother) there as well – we haven’t been in Utah together since I moved to PA and we became close. An extra, extra bonus was the self-declared lap-dog-who-is-too-heavy-to-be-a-lap-dog love we got from Colt’s adorable Sparky.
Alex, working on her handmade spoon with help from my dad. If you tell my dad that you want to whittle a spoon, he’s not going to just smile and pat you on the shoulder and say, “good luck with that.” He will go find tools that were passed down in his family and show you how to use them and make sure you get the technique right before you leave, with the heirlooms in hand – happy they are once again being used.
And because I don’t have a picture of her from the trip, I have to put one in of my mom’s food. Because it doesn’t matter that I came out to help her. If she has even one opportunity to take care of you, like making tamales or German pancakes – two of your favorite foods, she will. Because that is who she is.
My favorite memories of the trip do not have photos attached, but the conversation I had with my mom, on the way to the viewing where she told me what kind of dad Grandpa had been – looking around a room full of Craigs and realizing how proud my Grandpa would be of his legacy – and singing songs with my sisters on the porch – those are things that make every second of that trip, despite all it took to get out there, worth it.