Yesterday, we made the drive to Pennsylvania to attend the funeral service for my Uncle Nick, who passed away last Saturday evening.
Mark, the kids, the dogs, and I all made the trip this time and it was a beautiful day for traveling. There was no precipitation and the roads were clear the whole way there and back again.
The service was held at the funeral home, and it was so wonderful. My uncle had insisted on a closed casket, and it was draped with an American flag, as he had served in the Army Air Corps during WW II. The flowers were all in Christmas colors of red, white, and greens. There were pictures of Uncle Nick throughout his life. A few people related some great memories and it was a time of warmth and comfort at a hard time.
My Uncle Nick was an outstanding man who loved his family so. Unfortunately, when my youngest cousin was only weeks old, my uncle’s wife ran off on Christmas Eve, never to return to the family. I cannot imagine how a woman would get through this…..being left with six children to care for alone, but a man? With a tiny baby! Somehow, my uncle managed, and he has five decent, good children as his legacy. One of my cousins, Laura, was killed several years ago in an auto accident.
After the service, there was a gathering for the family at my cousin, Cindy’s house. She and her husband have the most charming house I have seen in a long time! Every room is decorated in the most gorgeous designs! Christmas happens to be Cindy’s favorite time of the year, and her collection of Santas was astonishing! In every nook….on nearly every wall, there was a Santa!
She has cross-stitched many, many marvelous Santas as well!
Oh goodness! I forgot a picture of our *hostess*
Yes, this is Cindy’s adorable and very well-mannered Boxer, Pepper! Even Pepper was decked out for the holiday season with a pretty Christmasy collar around her neck! She was so fantastic, even with a house filled with people!
As I wandered around from room to room, I heard many stories about my Uncle Nick. My father and his youngest brother, Dick, were telling some stories that were so funny! One of them was that after the war was over, a crate arrived at the farmhouse of my grandparents. Thinking it was Uncle Nick’s belongings, the family was shocked to find a German Shepherd! It seems my uncle didn’t have the heart to leave behind his company’s mascot. He decided the dog had better come home with him! What a surprise! Also, he brought home other memorabilia, like shells and bomb housings….my uncle said my grandmother used a bombshell as a doorstop for several years!
Most of my cousins have remained in fairly close proximity of where my grandparents lived. I was one of the few that wandered away. It was so incredible to go home and still be recognized by everyone, and to be hugged warmly. It almost feels as though all the years melt away when with family again.
Although the gathering was for a sad occasion, I am so glad we were able to attend. It is always so good to see family again!