In July the kids and I drove up to Pennsylvania to visit my Grandparents. My Grandfather was losing to melanoma (skin cancer) and it didn't seem like their was much time left to see him. With Julianna's medical problems though it was tough to get up there. Our plan was to drive up on Saturday, July 9th with a stop half way which would get me to Pennsylvania on the evening of the 10th. Things were not good from the start. My Grandfather, Frank Jareski passed on Friday, July 8th, right before we left. I still feel bad that I didn't get there in time for one last hug and I love you!
Saturday night at the hotel Jayden spiked a fever, then when we got to my sister Zena's house Julianna was struggling to breathe. She ended up in ICU that night and stayed for the week. Poor Jayden was thrown into a family that he barely knew, but thankfully loved him. So my 6 year old son went to his first funereal to say good bye to a Grandpa with a family that he only met a handful of times but at least it was one that I spoke of regularly. While Jayden was with my sister and her family they stayed at our Grandparents house in North Jersey for the funereal. My Grandparents lived in that house all of my life so it is full of memories for me! To keep Jayden busy his older cousin Luke had him search for treasures. Some of the things that Jayden came home with seemed silly but as I cleaned his room last night I was flooded with emotions. Jayden took one of my Grandpa's old wallets that had pictures of me and my sisters from when we were little and the best part is that it still smells like him! I couldn't help holding it to my nose and thinking of all the wonderful times that I had with him. I really had amazing Grandparents.
As things settle down after the holidays I think I would like to make some type of memory book for each amazing and wonderful person that has been taken from our lives. I hope that my children will someday love these memories that I share with them as much as I loved creating them. Not a day passes that I don't think of the loved ones that are no longer here with us. I am thankful to have pieces in my home that make me think of many of them regularly.
If anyone has any great suggestions on making a nice book with memories and thoughts of my father, father-in-law, Grandfathers, Grandmothers... I'd love to hear them!