Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Saying Goodbye…

Jon and Terry 034 Well, this is a first. For the first time in my life (except for maybe a brief time while I was engaged), I’m in Texas, but wishing I was in Nebraska.

I guess that’s not entirely true. I’m happy to be in Texas. This is still my home, and when I’m in other states (like when we’re on vacation in Colorado) and people ask where I’m from, I still have to say that I’m from Texas (but live in Nebraska.) I’ve even answered that question (when asked of our whole family), “Well, they’re from Nebraska, but I’m from Texas.” We get funny looks.

Anyway, I’m always happy to be in the homeland. I just wish we hadn’t had a reason to be here right now. We’re in Austin this week (headed back momentarily) to spend time with Matt’s aunt and say goodbye to his uncle Jon.

The Memorial Service was Monday morning at Umlauf Sculpture Gardens, which is a lovely place (and incidentally, much more kid-friendly than any other funeral setting I’ve ever been in.) Matt led the ceremony and did the eulogy, and I’ve never been prouder of him. He gave such a sweet tribute to his favorite uncle. Uncle Jon’s wish was to have the service out doors, and he didn’t want it to be weepy – he wanted people to tell stories about him and laugh, so that’s what we did. There were lots of stories of motorcycles, golf, the Longhorns, and his love for his friends and family. My favorite moment was when Betsy’s daughter, my niece Annalise took the mic – she talked about how Uncle Jon used to always forget the alphabet, and she would have to remind him of how it went. Precious. As we prepared the slideshow, I was so touched by how many pictures we have of Jon down on the floor with the kids, playing games, tickling them. I’m thankful for the wonderful memories they all have.

The boys are doing really well. Luke got really sad the night (a few days before Jon passed) we called to say our good-byes, but he did quite well during the ceremony. (He was really relieved there wasn’t going to be a body or a burial.)

Tobin keeps talking about not being able to see Uncle Jon again until heaven – and he was a little sad when we first told them that Uncle Jon had died. But he also has the sweetest perspective – I love seeing death through the eyes of a child. Last night as we prayed before bedtime, we thanked God for Uncle Jon, and I asked Tobin what he thought Jon was doing in heaven right now. Tobin: “Playing.” Me: “What do you think he’s playing?” Tobin: (thinking….) “Twister!!” That made me smile. :)

I’d appreciate your prayers… for our Aunt Terry, as we all leave and she begins to try to adjust to a new normal… and for Luke, as I do feel like his emotions have been more out of control than normal (not about Jon, but it feels like he’s more easily upset, just a little more emotionally volatile than usual these last 2 weeks.) I feel like that’s probably related to all the emotions of death being stirred up, memories of his mommy’s death, losing another person who was very dear to him (maybe his favorite person outside of our immediate family.)

In the meantime, we leave the land of my home, great mexican food, access to chic-fil-a, and dear ones. We head back to the land of corn. :) 15 hours in the car – first time we’ve tried to make it all in one day with the kids. You could probably pray for that too!!

If you’re interested, here’s the slideshow/movie we put together of family pictures…