Our Family

Our Family
Benaiah, Justin, Melinda, Abishai, Keturah, and Jared

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Year 2, Day 40: Our Family's Loss is Heaven's Gain

What a whirlwind of a trip!  My body is very unhappy about it, but I've had enough caffeine today to make up for it.  Yesterday was all about last minute preparations to go on this overnight trip, and I was not the best Mommy.  In fact, I got so mad, that I didn't pay attention and our indoor condo door closed, and was locked, and my keys were inside!  I was putting our stuff on the landing for the kids to carry down the stairs and whoops!  Oh, I was so hopping mad!  I am so careful with keys!  I locked myself out of the car once like 10 years ago and since then, I've always carried my keys with me, even if I'm going downstairs to let someone inside the building.  Thankfully, we were just in the hallway, so we could stay warm while we waited for Jared to come to our rescue.  Poor Jared didn't need that interruption in his day because he, too, had things to get done before we left town.  But ultimately, we got rescued, we got kids transferred to their cousins' van, and then 2 out of the 3 vehicles left while Jared, Benaiah, and I finished up a couple of errands.  The trip up was a bit slow and slippery because of the snow, but we made it.  The other kids were asleep, so we slipped into our room, and went to bed.

Abishai woke up around 5:30am, but I got him to sleep with us for a couple of hrs.  Actually, he was very good for his grandparents and aunt and uncle, and very cute last night.  Same today.  He had his moments, especially on the way home, to tell us that he's turning 2 and ready to throw a tantrum when needed.  But otherwise, he was an angel.  The other kids did fine as well.  They all sat still during the service, they played together well in the nursery room and stayed out of the adults' way, and reminded us that they are our legacy.  The service was super simple with the preacher giving the eulogy and we sang a couple of songs.  Various members of the family brought in what pictures they could (some were copies of other ones) for the picture boards.  I contributed a couple as well.  Uncle Ed had fleshed out the obituary with the full stories between things that were mentioned and had that out for people to read.  Aaron or Leah brought this book that they and Grandpa filled out that is meant to capture different stories of someone's life, so you ask them a question like "what was the worst prank you pulled?" "who was your first girlfriend), and people could read that.  Aaron, who is very compassionate, and who was very close to Grandpa, had a rough time of it today.  As they closed the casket, I watched Jared give Aaron the biggest, hardiest, man hug I have ever seen!  It warms my mama heart to know that maybe, just maybe our kids will grow up and love each other like that.  It was beautiful!  The rest of us were ok, with a few tears, but a lot of laughs as is normal for the quirky Cook family.  There was a good, hearty lunch and lots of fellowship.  Then when most people had left and before the family members started to leave, Gary gathered us up for a word of prayer, again, as usual for this family.  We lost the patriarch of the Cook family, but looking around at all the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in the prayer circle, and knowing that we all share the same faith as Grandpa and that we will all see him again in Heaven because we have made the decision to be followers of Christ, is amazing.  Without a strong man up front, the family will fall.  And we had that in Grandpa Cook and we do have that with Gary.  What an incredible blessing our family is to one another.  And it's amazing to know that we were able to share the past two Thanksgivings together, not knowing they would be our last with Grandpa.  And that God brought us back to Indianapolis in time so that we could all DRIVE to Michigan instead of sticking Jared on an airplane to attend the funeral.  God's handiwork for sure.

The ride home was ok.  It was clear, but cold.  And for like 15 minutes we couldn't figure what Abishai wanted and went through every single thing in the diaper bag and he turned down it all!  What he really wanted was Grandma's Nook so he could play a racing or bowling game.  But we made it home in one piece, thanks to Leah's great driving.  Gary, Jared, Benaiah, and Justin had left before us because they were going to Benaiah's school's banquet tonight.   Aaron and Shauna and the girls drove over to Grand Rapids to see a cousin's new baby.  Then Leah, I, Abishai, and Keturah drove home by ourselves.  Leah dropped Abishai and I off at home and she took Keturah home with her so that she could spend the night with the cousins when they got back later tonight.  It was quiet at home with Abishai messing around with his cars, which he missed terribly, and reading his books, which he also missed.  He only napped about 45 minutes in the car, but I still put him to bed late because I was puttering around too much.  Oh well, maybe he'll sleep in, but probably not.

Grandma and Grandpa Cook, a toddler Zion, and a two week old Benaiah.  I told you Benaiah was that tiny!

Got to the hotel and found this one sleeping like this.

And Miss Beauty like this.

I'm cute and you and I know it!

He crawled into the TV stand/dresser, just like he and Justin did back in November.

I closed the door and he thought was wonderfully exiting!  No fear here!

I'm bored, so, let's pull down a random magazine and look at the pictures. - Abishai's thoughts

Let's see how it goes if I open all the drawers AND watch TV at the same time.

Doing a little homework at Mom's request before it was go time.

When Valet Abishai was ready, he was ready!  Even when the cart wasn't filled up yet!  He pulled it all by himself with this much stuff on it.  But couldn't do it when the cart was full.

Kids staying out of trouble.

More kids and their elextronics!

Benaiah did a little bit of homework because tomorrow he's heading out with Jared to an all weekend Bible Bowl competition, so his homework hours have been shortened this weekend. He did get to miss school today.

Let's stack the cubes Benaiah is obsessed with!  He would not stop click clacking the backseat of the Veloster (mind you) on the drive up.  Sigh.

Building a tower.

I took pictures of all the flowers, but this was the one that was from all of us.

Lots of people called him "Pops" including the whole family, Grandpa's home health nurse, and the preacher.  

It was also  Grandma Cook's  birthday today!  She is also 89 years old.  She told everyone she met how satisfied she was with her life with Pops and that we know that he is in Heaven, although she will miss him.  Sometimes, when you've said your final good byes numerous times, the emotions give way to logical statements.   I know I didn't cry much at my parents' funerals, but ore in the weeks afterwards.

Grandpa had a large garden plus it was one of his chores to hoe the garden according to that book I mentioned above.  Grandpa had an affinity for cars, racing ride on lawn mowers, etc. so the cars, which he passed down to his son Bill Jr.,   Thus there were cars on stage to represent that.

Yeah, you saw those two tiny kids up in that first picture.  Now look at them!  Zion is on the far left and Benaiah is in the middle.  They done growed up!

Great place for young ones to hang out!

Perfectly topped cupcakes!  A monster truck for Grandpa's love of cars.  Justin helped pick them out when they picked up a birthday cake for Grandma Cook.

And we're back at home, where we belong, immersing ourselves in our regular stuff (me on my computer and Abishai with his cars.  It was really, really quiet tonight without the bigger kids around.  But we managed.

"Ta da!" living up cars on the bathroom sin.  I left them there for Jared to see them too.
To be continued when I can get my phone pictures uploaded....stay tuned!

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