Day 1 of our trip to Bloomington, IL. for my husband's grandfather's funeral was an adventure. The security personnel took my face lotion so I'm quite sure I'll look like an unravelled mummy by the time the trip concludes. Otherwise, our flight went smoothly. (Thank the Lord!) Five of our family members deplaned, got our luggage and headed to the Avis rental center, where two cars were supposed to be ready for us. We had to boogie because it was 12:30 pm and we had a 2-2.5 hour drive from Chicago to Bloomington. The visitation was scheduled for 4 pm. This should work out fine.
Ha! Only one of two cars was available so we patiently waited for AN HOUR before the second car showed up. No, I'm not exaggerating. As soon as we packed three of us into this 2nd car, a 3rd car showed up for us. I couldn't believe it. It was 1:30 pm so we had to haul it to make the 4 pm visitation. Luckily, the roads were clear. Trent & his sister "Susu" sat upfront, while I napped for 2 hours in the back seat. Way to be supportive, Megan!
When we finally arrived in Bloomington, we checked into our hotel rooms and changed clothes. It was just after 4 pm but what could we do? We booked it over to the funeral home for the rest of the vistation.
I think I must have an odd view of things. No surprise there, I suppose. Visitations/wakes are peculiar customs to me. My husband pointed out that many of the visitors had not seen each other in a long time. They were reconnecting and laughing -- a nice thing, of course. The oddity to me (at all visitations/wakes, NOT just this one) is that while everyone reconnects, it's almost as if the honoree is ignored. It's as if it's so painful to acknowledge the passing of this special person that we look everywhere else. I only wish I could make my family members feel better but this mourning process is a difficult one for most people.
After Grandpa's visitation, we headed to Friar Tuck's, a liquor store, and traveled to a rural part of Bloomington for a family dinner. This was an enjoyable time and, as Susu pointed out, a great opportunity to get to know cousins, aunts and others again. While we wish it wasn't under these circumstances, we had a good time laughing and telling stories on each other.
Everyone turned in for the night but after our return to the hotel, Susu, Trent & I had a night cap. This morning, the hotel parking lot was covered in snow. It's really pretty but we all know that today will be a difficult one. With Grandpa serving in WW II, a military burial is expected. The cold air will chill us further. I try to remind myself that Grandpa is in a better place. It's so tough to see the grief on others' faces and not be able to console them. I pray that some good things, good reconnections are remembered from this trip.
Please keep Trent's family in your thoughts & prayers. We return to Houston tomorrow to close out the New Year. Thanks to my parents for watching Little K and to Colyn for house-sitting & kitty-sitting. Until the next nap time...