We’re home from the hardest trip we’ve ever had to make. It was a whirlwind trip, and all of the days are a blur. What day is today? Thursday?
As you may know, my nephew was killed in a car accident, and we made an emergency trip back to Iowa. Grandma was out here with us (on her WONDERFUL vacation!) when this happened, so we did what we could to get moving in a different direction. We got her back to the airport a day earlier than anticipated, and then we started our own 11+ hour roadtrip.
Sunday afternoon, for almost 4 hours, we greeted over 400 people, most of which waited 1.5 hours in line to cry with us. (If you were there in person, thank you. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.) I didn’t think it was possible to cry so hard for so long, and yet the tears still come. Sunday night was spent out at my sister’s reminiscing and laughing at old stories, even though our hearts were broken.
I thought Sunday was the hardest day, until Monday got here. I’ve heard estimates of 500 people at the funeral service, but we were so overcome with grief to even fathom a guess. The procession to Our Silent City in Kellogg was long, and the reverence paid to our procession line, by everyone stopping along the highway was amazing. The internment, followed by the balloons lifting on the breeze? No words.
The luncheon was another place to reconnect with people I’d not seen in years. If there’s a silver lining it’s that I got to see SO MANY PEOPLE, AND my favorite Great Aunt who is just shy of 102! Yes, really. She doesn’t look a day over 80 if you ask me.
Thank you to everyone who has shown support to my sister’s family and to all of us. Our lives will never be the same, but time has a way of marching forward whether or not we’re ready.
Note: Because I have my own child’s grief to help manage, we were able to do some “fun” things while on this impromptu trip. Over the next few days, I’ll be posting pictures. In the meantime, you can see a sneak peek here: ThisJoAnn on Instagram.