As we approach Independence Day, I'm reminded of it's meaning! We are free because others have fought so bravely on our behalf. We enjoy the luxuries of freedom on so many levels. Because of this I'm reminded of those that aren't free. God has blessed us so much! I too am reminded of the wars that we have fought in order to maintain our independence. Thank you to all those that have sacrificed for this mission! Thank you to my Grandpa, Dad, Uncles, and friends who answered the call to serve. I know that normally we thank those who've been involved in the military on Memorial Day, but I can't help be reminded of this on the 4th of July. May you have a safe & fun holiday!
Last weekend, we had a memorial service for my Grandpa. It was so special to sit by the banks of the Kenai River, paying last respects to both my Grandma who died in 2004 and my Grandpa, who just recently passed. Their was beautiful music, a military flag hand over & wonderful stories of Grandma & Grandpa. It was great to see them through others eyes. I discovered that others thought as highly of my Grandparents as I did. Not only was it fun to hear the guests share stories about my Grandparents, it was fun to discover that others also experienced those attributes I loved about them. It was so nice to see my cousins too. All 10 of us were there to commemorate this special service and to support our parents, the leading generation of our family. My Grandparents had four children, ten grandchildren, & so far nine great grandchildren. I had not seen many of them since my tumor discovery, surgery, and so-far recovery. It was great to see them and I hope that we stay connected. My Grandparents started a legacy of love and I hope we continue it on.
Being there and having to face the reality of their passing was interesting. I think I always thought they would just be there, nothing would happen to them. But now, I face the reality that we are all aging and our earthly life isn't forever. I have yet to really deal with how close to death I really was during my brain tumor & operation. As I sat at their service, I could help but think of questions that I had if it had been me. Who would come? What would they say? How was my family coping? Did my boys understand? Would they know that their Mom loved them so much? Would Darren be okay? Thankfully, we never got to this, but I do have a renewed sense to tell those around me how I feel about them. I also have a renewed faith in God and what He's done through all of this. Glory be to Him and Him alone. I got this scripture from KLOVE today and thought it was amazing: You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. --Psalm 92:4, NLT
Posted are pictures of my Grandparents at my wedding with their four children, I believe the last one taken of them all before my Grandma passed away.
I am also sharing a picture of a Poppy flower that I took from their property, I edited it to make it very colorful for Grandma's memory. My Grandparents both had incredible green thumbs and their property is covered with many plants, flowers & vegetables. In fact, almost weekly, my Grandma often provided a beautiful bouquet of flowers from their garden to the church she attended.
I am also including a picture of us 10 grandchildren taken after the service next to my Grandpa's stool which holds a plaque in the picture. This plaque is to affixed to the large rock "pouting rock" in the background of this picture. We all took a turn on the pouting rock throughout the years. Overlooking the beautiful Kenai River, we could think, cry, pout, or do whatever we needed.
I also included a picture of the Kenai River I took from their dock.
The final picture I'm including is of the four Wilkinson siblings. They have a mighty legacy & heritage to carry on.
To Rummikub, peanut butter balls, home made hamburgers & French fries, goodbye & I love you Grandma & Grandpa, thank you for who you were and what you taught me.