Friday, June 17, 2011

The first real memory I have of attending a funeral was when I was 10. It was held in the little Indiana town where my grandparents lived. My grandpa was laid out in the casket, and I remember thinking he just looked like he was sleeping. But then I leaned over to kiss him and felt the coldness and hardness.

I don't know if the kids will remember it when they're older, but they attended their first funeral at the end of May this year. Steve's dad's aunt died at the age of 96. I didn't know her very well since we only saw her about once a year, and the kids met her once last year which they hardly remember, so it was a gentle way to introduce them to the idea of death.

Alexa had many questions before we went to the funeral. Will Aunt Anna look like a mummy? was my favorite. When she saw Aunt Anna in the casket, she wanted to know what they did with her legs. Jared really didn't seem to care that much about the whole affair, but when we paid our final respects, Jared asked to touch her hand.

After the burial and a lunch held at the church, we drove out to the farm Anna had owned. Her husband died about 15 years ago, and Anna had been responsible for the upkeep of the farm. She hired out someone to plow the fields and she lived at the farmhouse. We explored all the old farm buildings, most of which were in a state of disrepair, and petted the horse in the next field.

Jared started this funny thing where he'd whack at the dandelions (only those with the white seeds still intact) with a stick. He told us he was killing the Nazis. I think it's his ongoing fascination with Indiana Jones that started when we were in San Diego. One thing for sure. There's definitely not another kid out there like him.

The highlight of every trip to Missouri for the kids is seeing their cousins. We had a relaxing time hanging out with them for the three days we were there. On Sunday afternoon, we attended Emme's preschool graduation. We really wish they lived closer. It's hard to see them only once a year, but this year we'll also get to see them in November, too.

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