Last week was a week to make memories.
On September 25th we celebrated the life of our mother, Helen M. Brown, with what I think was a beautiful service. One of her clergy friends delivered the message which was perfect. Another family friend sang the Lord’s Prayer. I did the Time of Remembrance and managed pretty well to get through what I had written.
After lunch the family, all 20. of us, traveled to Lakeside, Ohio where we had rented two large houses next to one another. We all did rapid Covid tests (all are vaccinated except the two great grands who are too young) and proceeded to have a somewhat normal time in our little pod of family.
To say that it was wonderful would be an understatement. It has been a very long 18 months or however long this has been going on. I have lost track. Feeling the freedom of being with our family, hugging one another, eating meals together, just being together in one of our favorite places was just what I needed.
I know my mom was smiling down on us. I know it.
Sunday we had a picnic in the park with friends and relived some of those childhood memories while introducing the ones who had never been to Lakeside to the wonderful place that it is. We took family pictures that night which I am very anxious to see once the photographer gets them edited.
Monday we all traveled to Ada, Ohio where my sister did a nice graveside service (it helps to have a minister in the family). We left my mother’s ashes next to my Daddy’s and closed that chapter.
It is the first time all 20 of us have been together. Ever. Theo met all of his family on the Brown side and was such a good little guy despite all the attention.
The family left bit by bit as the week went on with some having to get back to jobs and life outside It was bittersweet to see the cousins leave one by one but I was so grateful to have had the chance to have everyone together for the time that they could be there.
The last night the remaining ones walked to the dock for one final sunset viewing. The four siblings and three spouses enjoyed one final Lakeside sunset and we vowed to make this happen again next year in some form. My favorite picture from the week was a selfie that Chris took of us. The Fab Seven. It was the best one of the three so you can tell we are quite the photographic group. “Laugh”. Of course Mark is camera shy so we. took what we could get.
I snapped the following shot of him doing what he loves to do – fish.
Though the week is over I have plenty of new memories to store in my memory bank and am so grateful for the family that I have, for the way we get along and for the love that our parents gave us. I am blessed.