A beautiful memorial was held for Mark's grandma several weeks ago. She passed away nearly 9 months prior to that, but since she passed on a short 9 weeks (to the day) after her husband - and since she chose to be cremated, her children opted not to gather everyone back together from different states so soon again, but rather to take time to plan things out and also to wait for the nice, spring weather. Well, we couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather, and it was nice to see everyone again - despite the circumstances. This picture is Claudia holding a tray of gardenias that were passed out to place on the grave.
Here is Henry graveside, touching his great-grandpa's headstone.
Babysitters were arranged for to care for the young children during the service. They took the kids to another area of the cemetery and blew bubbles and played, which was really nice. Here we are familiarizing the kids with their babysitters.
Uncle Ron (Bernice's son) with Dave (Mark's brother).
The siblings (Bernice's children) - Mary, Ronald & Claudia.
Dave placing a gardenia on his grandmother's grave. Her remains were placed in this painted box which she purchased and loved. She also loved flowers, but gardenias were her favorite. They looked and smelled lovely.
At the end of the memorial a butterfly release was done. It was beautiful, and would have been something Bernice would have loved. I recently included a post on the symbolism of this event on the blog I created for those who love BLC. It was created (with colors & music she liked) to help distribute her art & belongings, as well as to be a place to browse and remember her. As those that knew her were aware (and you can tell from browsing the blog), Bernice loved butterflies, so the release was a perfect ending to the memorial service...
Mark's cousin Sarah releasing her butterfly with her mother Diane.
Mary releasing her butterfly.
Ron smelling one of the gardenias.
Although the cemetery seems to be a bit of a strange place to take family pictures, it's an opportunity to document all of us being together in the same place from all different states. So, first is Ron & Diane with their children Andrew (who took most of these pictures) & Sarah.
Mont & Mary with all of their children & grandchildren.
Matt (Mark's brother) & his wife Janelle with their kids.
Rachel (Mark's sister) & Ryan with their son Henry.
Mark & I with our boys.
Claudia with her daughter Michelle and her kids.
Even though her family misses her, I'm glad to know that Bernice is with her sweetheart now...and that we will see her again someday.