So we went to celebrate. Eight hours round trip, every minute of it worthwhile to be surrounded by family.
First stop, across Grand Island, for (literally!) five minutes by the Falls. It was gray and rainy, but we never tire of seeing how beautiful Niagara Falls is in every season.
Next stop, dinner at the Como and time at the Fun Home.
If it weren't so absolutely inappropriate, I would have snagged a picture of my surroundings. There were photo albums and giant posters with pictures that spanned the last 90 years. The casket (which my Micah keeps referring to as a sarcophagus, God love him!) was covered with a handmade double-wedding-ring quilt. I had forgotten to tell you about her quilts. Aunt Helen was the queen of all things quilt and afghan!
There were hugs from aunts and uncles and cousins. Stories were told---some new to me. And it felt so good to be able to laugh and enjoy who she was all over again.
Before I left last night, my cousin Deb sought me out. She made sure that I knew we were invited for dinner the next day.
To Deb's kitchen---Aunt Helen's kitchen.
And it would involve a turkey.
Another ray of sunshine through the clouds---through a simple, thoughtful invitation to share time and food with family. Aunt Helen may have moved on to the next leg of her journey, but she lives on through her family when we remember to share kindness and hospitality to others.