Monday July 12, 2010
Today was the day we had the celebration of life for my Sweet Aunt Roseva. She passed away on November 16, 2009, the family waited for the summer months so those of us from out of state could be here with them to celebrate her life and share the impact she had on each of us.
As mentioned in yesterdays blog, of the 11 children born to my Grandmother Aunt Roseva was the eldest of the girls . She was 92 years old when she left us to be with my Uncle Jack in heaven. Aunt Roseva was another one of the 11 children that worked on the railroad. She was a time keeper and pumper foreman for the Northern Pacific Railroad. She opened the first beauty shop in Manhattan (the home town of the Herndon's) and loved to bowl.
My Aunt Roseva married my Uncle Jack in California and they eventually settled in Oakview where the lived until Uncle Jack retired to Montana. Oakview is where I spent many weekends as a child visiting with my parents. I loved spending that time with them and I always knew they loved me. My Uncle Jack actually taught me to fish and he was an excellent fisherman. He and my Uncle Milt were my Dad' favorite fishing buddies and Uncle Jack was my Dad's favorite Cribbage player.
Tomorrow some of the family, us included will travel to Gallatin Gateway to the spot on the Gallatin River called Greek Creek where my Uncle Jack's ashes were put. It was his favorite fishing spot and located down the mountain from his cabin. Because I loved him so, that is where Bob and I chose to be married and where we put Bob's parents ashes as well. Tomorrow we will be there to spread the ashes of my Aunt Roseva along with the remainder of my Uncle Jack's and there beloved dog Misty's.
Though I believe after my last breath I am in the presence of God for my next, there is something special about the act of spreading one's ashes. The spot is so incredibly beautiful you can't help but feel you put their remains in a peaceful, beautiful place much like heaven is promised to be. To think that they are in a place more beautiful than this makes my heart so full it overflows.....
Today I had some very special conversation with my sweet cousin Shelly, oldest daughter of my late Uncle Milt. She said to me, "it doesn't get any easier does it", in regard to the loss of our Dad's only months apart. We shared many tears and hugs and I love her more than ever now :-) I have said a lot in the last few months that it doesn't get easier and it helped to know that she could relate to the magnitude of the pain I sometimes feel in missing my Dad.
I said good bye to my "new" cousins Wendy and Terry that I met for the first time. I sense Wendy and I made a connection and I know we will be in regular contact. That is so exciting to me! Many good byes to several other family members all going on their own little road trips from here.
Tomorrow Bob, Wilson :-) and I will head to the river where some of us will be for the the spreading of the ashes. After everyone leaves Bob and I will do as we do every July, we will sit in our beach chairs at the rivers edge. We will take the same photos we do every year, we open a bottle of wine and we will toast Uncle Jack and this year Aunt Roseva and Bob's parents. Its always our favorite part of our summer trips to Montana. We will then toast each other, as on July 17, we will celebrate the day we married in that very spot ten years ago !
It's always very hard for me to say good bye to my family members, here in Montana especially. I can't imagine this place without each one of them. Every year I hope that each will still be here when I return. Because I know that tomorrow is never promised, I leave them knowing, that each one of them knows just how much they mean to me, how much I love them and our Herndon heritage.
What do I take forward in life that was my Aunt Roseva? She was one of very few people in my life that never said an unkind word to anyone or about anyone. She always had a smile on her face and sparkle in her eyes. She loved each of us as much with our flaws, mistakes, and poor choices as she would have if we had none. She was kind, sweet and a non judgmental person. Who wouldn't want to be remembered like that? Blessed to have had her in my life, as was everyone who knew her.....
Tomorrow a whole new adventure for us....