Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Four days, four kids, 2000 miles and a funeral

Last Wednesday Feb. 13th Bill's Grandpa Mitchell died. This picture was taken last June. It was the only time he saw John and Will. I'm so glad we made the extra trip to see him. Everyone keeps giving us their sympathy and Bill and I are in the uncomfortable position of having to say, "No, really we're not that upset about it." His health had been deteriorating. And always a slightly catankerous old man he was becoming increasingly more obstinate and unreasonable. I think he is pleased that he was able to die before his children had forced him to give up his independence. His wife died more than a year ago. She had suffered a stroke and for nearly a decade he was her main caregiver. It was sweet to see how tender and attentive he was of her. I'm certain he is happy to be reunited with her.

His funeral was on Saturday and plane tickets on such short notice as well as President's Day weekend are pricey. But it was important to support Bill's dad as well as show respect for his Grandpa's memory so we drove to Burley, ID via a stop in Salt Lake. Fortunately the kids had Friday and Monday off. We left before 6 a.m. on Friday morning. Will was not this happy the whole trip. But he did spend the majority of his waking hours in pajamas.

The kids were delighted to see snow. They oohed and aahed at the snowy landscape. So did Bill and I. I'd forgotten how shadows on the snow appear blue. I don't think John fully grasps the concept of snow. We were staying at my parents home and he asked, "How does the snow get on the roof?" Later, after a five minute drive to Bill's parents he exclaimed, "Look! They have snow too!"

On Saturday we got up early and drove for three more hours to Burley for the viewing and burial and a lunch with family. Bill really enjoyed visiting with all his relatives, so much so that he wasn't very good at introductions. So I spent most of the day trying to entertain small children in a church gymnasium. Actually, a lot of the time I let them run wild and bonded with the other in-laws who were being equally ignored by their spouses. We did try to take a picture of the Mitchell cousins. This is all of them except baby Alexander in Seattle. We drove back to Salt Lake that night. Unfortunately, we didn't get to spend too much time with Bill's parents--the two people we came to see. But I think that's just how it is with funerals. Just as you never really get to visit with the bride and groom at weddings. I think they were still glad we came. We drove back to Salt Lake that night.

Sunday was our day of rest quite literally. We slept in and had a late breakfast and went to church with my sister. She made such a fuss over us, it made me feel very loved. That night we had a family get together partly to celebrate John's birthday but mainly just to visit with family. Both the Mitchell and Farnsworth families were invited. It was at my parents home. My mom who is in San Diego for the winter, said she was happy to hear we were all getting together but also happy that she wouldn't have to do the clean up. A big thank you to my brothers and dad who prepared most of the food and did the clean up too. As you can see by the shoes it was a lot of people and a lot of fun.

Monday morning we got up early and drove some more. My dad and brother packed us some food for the trip--including double stuff Oreos. These provided lots of entertainment. Will had his own way of eating them--he ate only the middles. Lizzy likes only the tops. She'd give the rest of her cookie to Zoey who enjoyed triple decker Oreos.

Monday was John's 4th birthday. He spend most of the day in the car in his pajamas. At about 11 a.m. he needed to go to the bathroom. We pulled to the side of the road just north of Mesquite. I carried him out because we couldn't find his shoes but as luck would have it I set him down right on a thorn. We took a photo to commemorate his pathetic 4th birthday.

However, when we came home my parents (my dad flew back from Salt Lake that same day) brought us dinner with brownies. We put candles in the brownies, we were home and it wasa happy birthday after all. When we asked the kids if they thought the trip was worth it they gave a resounding no. Lizzy suggested next trip we spend at least equal days not driving as driving. She has a good point but I'm glad we went. Bill said whoever invented the DVD player in a car should get the Nobel peace prize.

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kim & co. said...

Wow, that is a long way to go. But nice that you could be there with family at that time.

Happy Birthday, John!!! And how fun that your mom is spending the winter in SD--sounds like a good idea to me :)

Brandan & Becky said...

I didn't go to my grandmother's funeral because it was a few days before Brandan and I were leaving for Europe and seemed like an impossible (at least extremely inconvenient) trip, 5 hours driving one way. Besides, I reasoned, no one would miss us. I now regret that decision when I think of it. My only defense is I was young and stupid. Good for you for braving insanity and doing the right thing.

Emily Murdock said...

I totally agree with Bill about the inventor of the car DVD. How did our parents survive without one? I'm seriously surprised that I am still alive after our many family trips as a kid. I would've left me on the side of the road by hour two. ;)
So glad to read another post. We miss you guys! Happy birthday John! I remember the day you were born! :)

Tiffany said...

sorry about the loss. I love your pictures. Your children are so cute!