A couple days after my friend Tracy came to visit, my mom called letting me know that my Grandma's health was decreasing rapidly. She had been living in the assisted living wing of the hospital in Ephrata for a couple years after suffering several different ailments and health setbacks (latest of which was losing her sight.) On February 5th, after 18 years of being separated from her sweetheart, Grandma was reunited with Grandpa...what a reunion that must have been! She was 90 years old at her passing.
(Grandma and I at my wedding in June 2008)
I know I've already posted about how incredible my daddy is, but there is a reason he's so amazing. He had incredible parents. I have never met a more loving and sincere person than Grandma Vera Adams. She was a social butterfly and loved more than anything to have visitors and take care of those around her. She was an AMAZING cook and always had yummy food waiting for us at her house. No matter what was happening around her, she someone how managed to have a smile on her face continually. I loved how her face lit up when I entered the room and always felt like I was her favorite. The funny thing was, all of us grandchildren felt the same way. She had an amazing ability to make you feel loved and like you were the only person in her world. She was a constant example of Christlike love to all those who surrounded her.
(Grandma and I at Liam's funeral in January 2013--one month before her passing.)
Since I had flown home by myself the previous month for little Liam's funeral, I couldn't be away from Dax for another week. Plus he had LOTS of aunties and cousins that wanted to meet him and kiss those chunky cheeks. Dallas wasn't able to make the trip with us since he was in the middle of busy season, so it was quite the adventure traveling on our own. We met several kind people along the way that helped with our stroller and through security, so things went remarkably smooth. And then on the returning flight I was able to sit with my cousins Greg and Heidi, who helped a ton with keeping him preoccupied.
(On our solo flight home. We had the whole row to ourselves and Daxton fell right to sleep as the plane took off. Great snuggle time for mommy!)
When we got home we were quickly surrounded by family. Aunt Pauline, Aunt Carol, Aunt Julie, and cousin Natalie all came over to meet little Daxton. It's pretty obvious that I post a million pictures of Daxton on facebook and our blog, so they felt like they already knew those chunky cheeks and adorable smile. It meant the world that they would make a special visit just to snuggle with him. He loved all the attention, but especially their shiny jewelry. Later that night at our big family pizza party, Aunt P became his new best friend, feeding him all sorts of goodies...including his first taste of soda.
I sure do love my cousin Greg.
We've been through a lot over the years.
He's going to make an incredible daddy in the spring!
Daxton loves his Grandpa!Saturday, at the funeral, all the great grand kids sang.
Everyone got together before the family prayer to practice. It's so amazing to see the legacy that Grandpa and Grandma have left behind.
Daxton loved meeting all my cousins and getting lots of kisses.
Leisha was a sweetheart and watched Daxton while I was taking pictures of all the grand kids. Daxton was a bit confused by Richard's beard and wouldn't look at the camera. Daxton and little Liam are going to be best buddies someday.
The funeral service was beautiful.
(Uncle)Bishop Jay conducted while (cousin) Gina played the organ and (cousin) Jimmy led the music. Aunt Carol gave the life sketch, (cousin) Kendra spoke, and Uncle Ken spoke. The great grand kids sang "I am a Child of God" and my mother and I sang a duet composed by my Grandpa. (We also sang it at Grandpa's funeral back in 1995.) All of the grandsons were the pallbearers with a graveside service at the Ephrata cemetery directly after the funeral.
Her casket was absolutely gorgeous and the flowers turned out beautifully.
The dedicatory prayer was given by Grandma's youngest brother, Hyrum (Bud) Jepson.
Most everyone in attendance.
We were only missing five cousins: my brothers Erik and Stuart, Uncle Ken's daughter Michelle, Aunt Pauline's son Jimmy, and Uncle Jay's son Rocky.
My dad and oldest brother, Bryan
Patti Ferguson and I
Patti has been such a sweet person in my life, but in Grandma's life as well. They were neighbors for a few years and she took such good care of her. She's truly become a member of our family and I love her dearly.
Walking through the cemetery was a bit sobering for me.
Too many friends and family members residing.
Dear friends, TJ Sortomme and Matt Hammond, killed in a vehicle accident the summer after we all graduated. I remember their families planting this tree. I can't believe they've been gone almost 15 years.
My immediate family walked over to Liam's grave after the services for Grandma. Richard and Leisha are waiting til the spring to put in his headstone, but they do have a little marker for now. The girls wanted to blow bubbles for "their angel" Liam. I love how they openly talk about him and know that he watches over them. How sweet it will be for them to meet again after this life.
What a sweet, eternal family.
There was a family luncheon after the service and it was so nice to get to talk to everyone. I wish we could have gotten a picture of my dad and his siblings and one of all the cousins together. I'm not sure when we will all be able to see each other again, now that Grandma's gone.
Top left: (nephew) Max and (cousin) Greg. Top right: Aunt Julie's family (Krista, Sandi, Aunt Julie, Derek, Scott, and Natalie.) Bottom left and right: our cousins, Mark and Kendra with a very tired Daxton.
Heidi is seriously the most GORGEOUS pregnant woman ever! She's due in May and we can't wait for them to be parents. They're going to love it. Bradley received the best uncle award with all his nieces piling on him at once. You gotta love Sadie's and Nora's bellies poking out!
Poor little Daxton was exhausted after the long day. A big THANK YOU to Michelle Crane for watching my sweetheart during the funeral. It helped so much to be able to sing with my mom and be able to listen to the talks without trying to wrestle with a mobile little baby. He was totally slap happy by the end of the luncheon. He crashed for over two hours when we got home.
The next day, before leaving for the airport, Daxton and I visited our only remaining (adopted) grandparents, Bill and Doris. We had such a nice visit with them and Daxton immediately fell in love with Grandpa. Grandpa Bill pushed him back and forth in his wheel chair and Daxton just sat and giggled. He also loved holding Grandpa's hands. I feel so blessed to have Bill and Doris in our lives and it was such a great visit with them.
My little brother, Bradley was sweet enough to drive us over to the airport that day. It was a quick trip home with a lot of family time. I wish I could have stayed longer and caught up with friends, but daddy was missing us and we him. When we got over to the airport, Daxton loved watching the planes take off. It was such a blessing we were on the same flight as Heidi and Greg, because he was a bit of a handful and didn't want to sleep at all, just play.
Basically it was a wonderful quick trip home to celebrate the life of an amazing woman. I love you, Grandma. I feel so blessed to have had you in my life and been able to look up to your example of love and devotion to your family, friends, and the gospel. I will miss you, but know you are having a blast with your sweetheart and other family members that preceded your homecoming. Give Grandpa, Mara, and Liam a hug and kiss for me. We all know how much you loved kisses!