Back in February the father of one of my dear friends from college passed away. It happened to coincide with a long power loss in very cold temperatures here in Ohio, so packing up 4 kids and driving to NJ for a weekend seemed like a very reasonable thing to do. My boys were thrilled because they were excited to see Grandma and Grandpa Smith. (Read eat sugary cereal, wrestle with Grandpa, and watch Cartoon Network.) Here is a fine example of that Cartoon Network thing:
I left the boys in the capable hands of my in-laws and headed up to North Jersey for the wake and funeral. The experience of that weekend could be a blog post all alone, but I can't put it into words in a way it deserves. To sum up, my friend Dr. Dan is an amazing human being and clearly his father was as well. I am a better person for knowing Dan and getting the smallest glimpse at his family.
This, however, is where Lilyanna and I spent the majority of the funeral mass. The foyer. At least she's consistent. The foyer is where we spend most of sacrament meeting, too.
This is Grandpa Smith bribing Lilyanna into being his friend. He fed her ice cream right out of the container. Greg, the Grandfather in this case, once said to me, "Do you know why grandkids and grandparents get along so well? They have a common enemy." It worked, btw. Lilyanna was his friend following the ice cream incident in a way she just wasn't before. ;)
It was wonderful to visit with so many dear friends, both at the funeral and at a luncheon my Mother in law had for some other visiting friends, and at church as we were on our way back out of town. But it was also nice to return home to Todd and our dear friends here
. It's interesting to me that the way I feel about going back to NJ is the way that someday my kids will feel about coming to Ohio. This is home to them. They are Ohioans. Right down to the accent. I'm sure my father (from Wyoming) was similarly horrified by my NJ accent as I was growing up. (Which by the way, I grew up pronouncing as "harrified". Also, that fruit that is also a color is an "arange". And people retire in "Flarida". It's okay. I don't do that anymore. I try to comfort myself with that idea when I listen to my kids speak.)