To heck and back
Well, in an interesting turn of fate, just before I found out I had strep throat, my husband's paternal grandmother passed away. This past weekend we piled one of the dogs, the baby, all his stuff and all ours into the car and hit the road once again, nearly only a month later, back to the Midwest for another funeral.
It's a good thing we bought a car. Getting there and back wasn't such a big deal, but we had to do it in a very limited amount of time. One day up, one day for the funeral, and all my husband's father's side of the family, then another day back. Due to illness and the death of my grandmother, we've both been out of work so much we could barely afford to be out the three days we took for the drive.
During the drives we endured rain, snow, a combo of both, unbelievable--and dangerous--fog, and a hotel room with a bathroom that was iffy at best. What we got in return was something that may never happen again. well, several things, actually. We ate grilled cheeses (and other things) with the wonderful--and HILARIOUS--group of Amish women who showed up to the cold, grey, graveside service at a local diner afterward; they were so sweet and kind to pay.
We also got the chance to spend some time--as did our son--with my father-in-law's family. They live out west in California and Nebraska, places too far to drive without a two week vacation. We probably wouldn't get to see them otherwise, and they would never get to meet our son. Although it was a short trip we all holed up from the wet and the cold in my in-law's nice big, warm, cozy house and hung out. We had whatever for dinner, no drinks, almost no television and not much else but each other's company. And it was great. I learned more about these few people than I probably ever would from simple stories.
For example, Linda, my FIL's sister, spent a lot of time with the Amish women, who babysat her as a child and thus were at the service. At that service we also visited the site of where her toddler daughter is buried. She had Downs Syndrome. Back then they didn't make it very long. If anything, that was sadder than the passing of my husband's grandmother.
I'm exhausted, still sick, way behind at work, and sad about the loss of yet another amazing woman--the kind they simply don't make anymore. Still, it was a wonderful experience to get to know some family and make some new friends. And, it gave the baby more time to get used to his new car seat and travel by car. If only they made car seats in adult sizes!
Our son has now been to two funerals and a wedding. Somewhere in there is a joke about the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral, but I haven't found it yet. For now, I have three more grandparents, and hope to keep it that way.