Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Aunt Anelle

Last night the kids and I returned home from a whirlwind trip down to Cortez, Colorado. We went for my Aunt Anelle's funeral. Last Wednesday night my mom called with that tone and I quickly thought of who was sick and who could have passed away. I was completely shocked when my mom said that my dad's younger sister had died. Apparently she had had knee surgery and was recovering well until a horrible blood clot killed her, at least that is what everyone thinks. Anelle always seemed so young. I still feel slightly numb about the news. I immediately offered to help if there was any music needed. It seemed like the only thing I could contribute at that horrible time.

I have been thinking a lot about Aunt Anelle, times at the ranch, and my Adair family over the last week. I know I have truly been blessed. I am so grateful for what I have been taught about God's plan for us, that death is just a part of that plan, and that we are an eternal family. My dad gave a beautiful talk about this very thing at the funeral. I find that death, especially when it is unexpected, promotes thinking about things of an eternal nature. Life here on earth is such a short part of our existence and there are wonderful things waiting for us when we pass from this life. We miss those we love, but it is a great comfort knowing that it is not the end. We will be with them again someday. In the meantime, I have great memories that I can reflect on.
  • staying up until all hours of the night playing card games
  • playing games -- Aunt Nell loved to play games
  • when Nell talked to you, you were her focus and it seemed like nothing else mattered
  • we had so much fun singing together and she was really good at making up harmony
  • being out on the water at McPhee Reservoir
  • going to stay with Aunt Nell and Uncle Ken when I visited the ranch
The funeral was set for Monday at 10:00. I was really sad that Ken was not able to go with the kids and I, but I know work is busy right now for him. I was sad because I was singing two hymns (Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing and Abide With Me, 'Tis Eventide) for the funeral and I like it when Ken accompanies me. We are a great team and I never worry when he is at the piano. I also hate it when there are family things and he is not there with me.

Speaking of family. It is a tribute to how much Nell was loved by seeing the family turnout. Of course, all of her siblings came and 12 out of her 16 nieces and nephews came out. My kids loved how there were cousins galore. In addition to their 3 first cousins, they also got to play with 37 of their second cousins -- and those were just the ones that were there! It seems our numbers have increased exponentially. It was also great seeing my great Aunt Adelle and my dad's cousins that I haven't seen in years. I loved reconnecting with so many family member that we don't get to see all the time. I have a very fun family and we all enjoyed being together. Aunt Nell would have especially liked that part. She always loved a family get-together!

The service itself was beautiful. My Uncle Lynn gave the eulogy. My dad spoke on Heavenly Father's plan. Uncle Doug and Aunt Fay gave prayers. Uncle Ken and Linzi, Shawn, and Andy all spoke and shared memories of their mother. About half of the family (mostly the kids and moms) sang three primary songs; I am a Child of God, I Like to Look for Rainbows, and Families can be Together Forever. There was lots of laughing and many tears. I think my favorite part was when Shawn shared a poem that Uncle Ken had written for Aunt Nell several years ago. It was tender, yet in the tone of his great sense of humor and talked about their history together and relationship. I was so glad that I could be there with so many others to celebrate her and her life! I will miss her dearly, but I look forward with great anticipation for the reunion that we will have someday.

Most of the family that had traveled to be at the funeral (after the luncheon)

Shawn, Stephanie, Bradley, Uncle Ken, Andy, Linzi, and Jack at the graveside

Chuck, Lynn, and Doug -- the brothers

Driving home... I love Colorado -- it is so beautiful!


Devonna said...

I knew you would be the first to report. thank you! Thank you for being a great reporter and giving us a feel for that sad, hard but loving time. Love Aunt Bon

Carlos F said...

I am so sorry for your lost my dear sweet friend. My prayers are with you and your family at this time. See you next week.


mcojaadams said...

Thank you for sharing something so personal. I am sorry for your loss. I found great comfort reading your words about eternal life and being reunited. It's a wonderful reminder. You are a dear friend!

Tirsa & Blaine said...

I love your perspective on this and I'm sure your aunt appreciated the beautiful music that only you could provide.

shelly said...

I'm sorry for you loss Carli. I'm glad the trip went well and that you found your earing.