Another Sad Manelick Gathering…

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!

4 Responses

  1. So sorry about your Uncle, not sure if I already commented on that or not.
    Isn’t it wonderful to listen to family stories? Each Christmas, when we are all gathered together in the same spot (all except for my brother in CA), my brother gets out the movie projector and we watch old family movies and reminisce about the past….there are always plenty of tears and laughter!

  2. Family stories are a legacy. We get so involved in the day-to-day events that we often forget just how far we have come! Our roots are very important….or should be! We all know about the expression that admonishes us to learn from the past so as NOT to repeat *bad* history, but we often race through life never looking back. As I have said, family is the BEST!

  3. What a beautiful tribute to my Father’s cousin, Nick. My father was Metro James (Jim) Manelick. We live so far away here in Maine that we could not attend the funeral but we all were very sad.

    Dick and Gail Manelick

  4. Hi again, Joanne sent me a msg. that you had read what I sent.
    It seems like the Manelick family has had so many tragedies. We also lost a daughter 20 years ago at the age of 18 in a motorcycle crash only two weeks after graduation.
    Than I read the whole story about Ryan Manelick. I was so upset at that story that I sent e-mail to our Senator Collins of Maine and asked for any info. She is on the Senate Armed Forces Committee but did not have any info but sent a letter saying that she would look into it. I never heard anything else.
    My cousin Vonnie Loomis Chenot also lost her daughter-in-law in a crash.
    Life can be so cruel.
    There have those things off my mind.

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