We left home Thursday at noon and arrived in Iowa a little after 1pm on Friday. The kids were so excited to get there and find lots and lots of snow. Of course, Mike had to push Laura in it as soon as we got out of the van. Emily and Jacob played in it for a while. It was up to their knees.
Saturday morning, Andrew and I had to make a quick trip to Des Moines to find him a navy blue blazer for the funeral. Mike and the other kiddos stayed behind, so Mike could find a broken water line in the basement shower.
Saturday afternoon, we went to the funeral home for the family viewing of Grandma's body. I have to say that she looked beautiful and at peace. It broke our hearts knowing that our yearly trips to see her were over. Over the last 15 years, our kids have formed a bond and made memories with her that no one can ever take away from them. They truly knew their Grandma Marge.
Saturday night, we enjoyed a meal with our Iowa family, the Partridges. Uncle Charlie and Aunt Judi wanted to take us out for a meal. They have also become very special to us. They have gone above and beyond when it came to Grandma's care. We will never be able to express just how much they mean to our family and how much we appreciate all that they have done. It was always a joy to visit with them during our trips.
Sunday was hard. We knew that it would be the last time we would see Grandma. We also knew that it would probably be the last time we would stay in her house... the house that had become our vacation home for so many years. The kids referred to it is our "Iowa house." Each room has always been filled with love from Grandma. We held it together well until the preacher started talking about Grandma telling him that although she had gotten offers for the house, she wouldn't sell it. She wanted to keep it so her family would have a place to stay when they came to visit her. I thank God that we were able to have those years with her. Although the drive there was physically draining, we made it a priority to see her and give her that precious time with her great-grandchildren.
We left late Sunday afternoon. We planned to drive at least halfway, putting us in Paducah, KY. Andrew drove us from Columbia, MO, through St. Louis, MO, and into Illinois. He turned over the driving to me when it got close to midnight. When I drove into Paducah, everyone else was sleeping, so I kept on going. It was already 2:30am, maybe later, and I wasn't worth spending money to only get about 3 hours sleep. Mike would have been ready to leave there at 6:30am. He had been sleeping in the back seat since 10:30pm. I drove until my bladder was registering FULL, putting us about 60 miles from Nashville, TN. Mike took over the driving from there. We got home about noon on Monday. We took a nap before going to get Bekah, Luke, and Jonathan from Papa & Grandma's house.
Today was full of errands. I can't believe that I am still awake! My body is telling me that I'm tired, but my mind just won't shut off. I am thinking some PM meds are in my immediate future. Please continue to pray for Mr. Rex, Deborah, and Aunt Judi as they go through all the things involved in Grandma's passing. Thank you for all the prayers that have already been prayed. Love ya bunches!