Sunday, November 10, 2013

Weekend Thoughts

Today we made the trip home from Chicago.  It's a trip we've done for the last 40yrs.  We've gone for many reasons...weddings,  baby showers, vacations with Grandma, cousins, aunts and uncles, holiday celebrations.  Unfortunately, we've also gone for funerals.  Yesterday was the memorial service for my Sister-in-law. A celebration of a life well lived.  She and my brother only had a short time together.  In the scheme of things, she only had a short time here on earth.  But the length of time didn't stop the amount of living put into those years.  Looking at the picture board of all the things Candy and Phil shared, you realize that no time was wasted and much time was enjoyed.  Phil's doing as well as can be expected.  He has plans to head to Florida this winter. He said he just needs a break for a while.  Unless he decides to leave earlier, I'll see him when we make the trek back to Chi-town for our annual family Christmas gathering.  I think our family is made up of survivors.  We get through things and continue on with determination, blind faith, and usually a good sense of humor.  It was good to see family there, holding, hugging, smiling, and supporting.  It was good to see Phil's 3 children, their spouses and his grandchildren all together.  Our good family friend, Father Damien, did the service.  He was wonderful as always.  He's buried, married,  baptized, confirmed, laughed, and broke bread with us and been a huge support to my Mom and sister.  He and Jack have a good relationship and for some reason I always have to smile when I hear him say, "Oh, it's Dr. Jack".  Father followed us down to the funeral home, an hour from my Mom's house.  He had a hard time keeping up with Jack's speedy driving!  When he asked if Jack always drove over 60mi an hour I really did laugh!  Are you kidding me? Chicago? If you don't drive fast you will be run over! Anyway, I took some pictures...of course...but left the camera at Mom's!  My sister will get them to me, but for tonight I'll leave with just 2.  She put together a really special tribute to Candy.
It was filled with lovely photos and stories of her life.
I know Phil was very appreciative.  After we got home I made some homemade soup and had some of my Mom's homemade bread she sent home with us.
The weekend went quick and thankfully so did the drive home...Yes Father Damien, we did go faster than 60 miles per hour! P.S...no I'm not asking for forgiveness!


14 comments:

acorn hollow said...

So sorry you had to go back for that reason. I hope your brother finds peace.
Cathy

Willow said...

YaYa my heart goes out to your brother.
I am so glad they lived well and did much in the time they had together.

Shady Del Knight said...

I shed another tear for Candy tonight as I read this post, dear YaYa. She was obviously a brave woman and a wonderful companion for Phil. They didn't have a large quantity of time together but it was quality time. Memories abound and will linger on.

I think it will do Phil some good to come to Florida during the winter when we boast the nation's best weather. Time and space and distance all help with healing.

<< We get through things and continue on with determination, blind faith, and usually a good sense of humor. >>

I couldn't agree more with that statement, dear friend. I'm glad you returned home safely from Chicago and I wish you a good week ahead, maybe even a great one.

gin said...

that is family -- the good and the sad. Yes, we do go on. We have too.

Joanne W said...

you go, good or bad, you go. That is what family does, related family and those we choose as family. Glad you are home safe.

Julia said...

Seeing all the family support to pay homage and tribute to Candy is so heartwarming. Being a family is for all occasions, sad or happy. It's especially beautiful when love is shared.

It will be a sad Christmas for Phil but time will heal the pain of his loss.
May she rest in Peace.
Hugs,
JB

Hena Tayeb said...

so sorry for your loss

rosaria williams said...

Not asking for forgiveness? MY, my...Frankly, who can judge us when we are just trying to get on with things most of the time, being as careful as we can without impeding others' tracks. Life's rules are cemented for children to memorize. As adults, way too often we need to compromise and chose between two evils.

Cindy said...

Always good to go home...just sorry for the reason this time. Looks like you have a wonderful supportive family who will help get him through this difficult time. (After just having spent four days in FL I bet that would do a world of good! And now the snow...)

Munir said...

So sorry about your brother's loss or rather your family's loss.
My family's and my prayers are with your brother. May he find peace. It is nice to know that they had a good life together.
I hope that you are fine as you are a very caring person and share every one's pain.
Take care.

Donna said...

That soup was mah-velous! You are a wonderfully cook!

Canadian Chickadee said...

How sad. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Take good care of yourselves, xoxox

Phil Arends said...

Kathy: I'm usually just a reader on your blog but I often read it and your talent is unequalled . Candy's dad stays at my house often as I do when I am in Moline and we are able to talk about our losses (his wife died a year ago of cancer.) she was Candy's step mother. Our conversations often are stories of family. I told him that when you came for Candy that as grateful as I was I knew that you would be there. I told him of dad's funeral and how mom's brothers of the greatest generation came from both coasts immediately to be with their sister in her time of need and so we learn by example. I speak often of the strength of our family and how it defines us. Losing Candy was the toughest challenge I have ever had. I knew her in1986 and never forgot her. I have my own opinion of why we got back together. Although my prayer to save her appeared to not have been answered I concluded that someone else's prayer for the one guy she loved who was the only one that was strong enough to get her through this to come back into her life was answered. I held her hand as she looked into my eyes for the last time and I told her I loved her and that it was alright to leave because I think she could see her brother and mother and as much as she wanted to be with me they were calling and it was time to go. I held her hand as she passed quietly at home with her brothers and her father by her bedside. I hope I'm lucky enough to go that way.
Christmas is a joyful time and as a family we need to gather at joyous times too. I will be there for Christmas but after Christmas I'm taking Candy with me back to Florida. Because I told her we would be back this Winter. I'm thankful that we were there in August before the disease started to really take her down. When I look at the pictures of the two of us for the last 30 months and I look at all the albums of her life I realize that I was privileged to share such a small but such a sweet part of her life. I can't begin to explain how much we loved each other and how much not having her hurts but after 26 years of being apart and to be able hold her in my arms and whisper our dreams across a pillow in the middle of the night and to have her in my life as my wife for one year will carry me through until I can hold her again. She has always been there waiting for me so I know she will be there waiting when it's my turn to leave. I can't tell you how much I love you and appreciate your words and support. See you at Christmas. Love Phil.

Sue said...

I'm glad your brother has such a good family to comfort him.

And I'm happy the day went well.

Hugs.

Ps. Your brother's comment really touches me.