On Monday, we had a catered lunch for my Grandpa's 90th birthday.
Almost all of our family was there.
We had flown from Washington and Utah to be there for this special occasion.
Lots of friends and extended family living in Oklahoma came as well.
All of the grandchildren shared memories and/or things they love about Grandpa.
We had worked to put together a video slideshow of pictures from his life.
It was tender to see the line of his life, extending down to each of us -- and to feel a very strong sense of belonging to these people.
(Grandpa, calling a square dance)
It was emotional for me to be in that little town.
My grandparents lived there, and my grandmother passed away there.
I had never visited her grave and standing there, in that quiet place, I wanted to linger.
(I love this candid one of my grandparents)
While I believe that our spirits live on (in fact, just last week, a good friend of mine commented on the fact that I talk about my father in the present tense -- like he isn't gone) and that a resurrection awaits us because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, I still find deep meaning in the rites of passage we all experience here.
I reverence places where these people lived their lives, where much of what made them took place. And I felt connected to her, and to them, in quiet ways.
(On their wedding day)
At the luncheon, I got to sit next to this guy -- my cousin Harvey. Harvey is the same age as my father, and he played with my dad when they were boys. In recent years, they loved opportunities to be together whenever the occasion permitted.
(Harvey Payne and I)
He said that my grandfather was the classiest guy he had ever known,
that he was always a gentleman.
He talked about being impressed with their family, with how they did things.
(The Bush Family -- see my cute dad on the upper left?)
One of my favorite things was listening to him talk about my Grandma. She passed away the year before I was born. As I see her in photographs, I see glimpses of her in my sisters and I, in the big brown Beattie eyes and dark hair that we have.
(Grandma and her kids -- my dad's on the left)
Harvey talked about my Grandmother with great affection. I pulled out my phone to write down the words he used to describe her.
A joy to be around.
She loved life.
But my favorite thing he said?
"She always had a smile on her face, and a smile in her voice."
What a lovely thing.