Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Remembering A Life Well Lived

So this weekend we made a quick trip out to Illinois for Elizabeth Julia Mortenson Amsler’s (aka Grandma) memorial service. She actually went home to the Lord in February but we held off on her memorial service, per her wishes, until the weather was better.

I love family get togethers and this one was particularly excellent because I saw cousins that I hadn’t seen in a long time. A. LONG. TIME.

Of course there was food. There is always food when we are at these family gatherings.
img_5815Aimg_5838 There is always LOTS of food. It seems to grow and grow and grow. But the worst thing in the world would be to run out of something.

Trust me….we didn’t.

There were babies, or actually baby, to be hugged and kissed. It was nice to get my “baby fix” without actually have to take him home.
img_5854 Thomas was excellent the whole time. As his mom, Kathy, says, “He is really happy….until he isn’t”. I never saw the “isn’t” part and I think it is lies, all lies I tell you.
img_5909A This is Pilot Man getting his Thomas fix. Hmmmmmm, there seems to be a resemblance there. Must be a family thing.

There were cousins that I hadn’t seen in, like, 25 years. We would look at each other and go, “Ummm, Ohhhhhh, Hey HI!” We all look EXACTLY the same as the last time that we saw each other. EXACTLY the same I tell you.
img_5840 The person on the left is my Aunt Sue, who is only 6 years older than I so she is really more of a sister. She lived with us for 3 years when she was in college. We had fun. We tried to avoid eating liver. It was a monthly battle that we often lost. I see Sue on a regular basis (Hi Sue!). The person on the right is Nona Beth who I hadn’t seen in, in, in I think 25 years. It was a long time. But we knew each other and we visited and it was so nice that I wish she lived closer.

OK, so maybe you are by now bored silly with the picture of the relatives. But remember, my blog.

There was a lot of picture taking going on. Are you surprised by this? If you are then you haven’t been hanging around here much.
img_5836                                               Jon taking picture of me
Deb taking photoMe taking picture of Jon. His camera has less “pixel” capacity hence the fuzzy picture of me. But then I sort of lead a fuzzy life so perhaps this is appropriate. Certainly the hair was fuzzy that day with all the humidity.  

After a wonderful time of eating and eating and eating and visiting and visiting and visiting it was off to the cemetery for the interment.

img_5867 No respect. I get no respect. Sitting next to The Shoe Queen is her cousin Summer. In a great twist of irony Shoe Queen and Summer had never met each other….until last fall we realized that Summer was going to be Shoe Queen’s dorm RA. Too funny.

img_5875A img_5882 img_5871 img_5886 
We had a wonderful service. Rev. Jones was Grandma’s pastor in Assisted Living and had been her friend for many years. He captured well her always sunny and encouraging nature. Her humor in all situations. Her love for the Lord and her caring spirit for others. I wished that I had a piece of paper or recorder so that I could recall all that he said. I will just have to remember the spirit of it in my heart.
And as has been our pattern with family gatherings my cousins Tim and Jon performed a musical number for us.
img_5887A And then we sang. 50+ people singing. It was lovely. Grandma would have clapped her hands together and declared it wonderful.


And then, of course, we needed to take a picture. Remember I come from a family where many of us have our cameras permanently attached to our bodies. It is the way that we roll. Imagine my horror to find that my camera battery was dead. Thank goodness for cousin Jon whose camera was fully ready to take up the challenge of getting all of us into one picture. Sort of like herding cats.
Family!                                              All solid citizens for sure.

Grandma we will miss you. But we know that the parting is not for eternity. We will be together again, singing songs of joy to our Lord. But until that time we have our memories. And that will just have to do.


  1. I loved this. Such a tribute to not only your Grandma but to the whole family.

    And I personally don't mind fuzzy photos of me. I prefer to think of it as "soft focus" that covers up a lot! lol

  2. What a wonderful tribute. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that takes pictures at events like this. We have a similar situation coming up in June for my uncle Bob, who died in January.

  3. We loved all the pictures, your comments etc. Don Jones does such a nice job, doesn't he? This is a special post! Of course all of them are.

  4. Family is so important to us ... even when we don't see each other often.


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