Saturday, May 5, 2007

Aunt Gerry's day

This was the day of my Aunt Gerry's service and burial at Evergreen Cemetery in Leominster MA. The day dawned bright and cool, and was pleasant while we were in the stone chapel.

There were about 30 people there - several of my New England cousins and their families, Gerry's husband and his family from Maine, my cousin Peter and his wife, my cousin Joan, and Gerry's lifelong friend, Fran, with her niece.

The service was simple - led by the local Episcopal church pastor. Gerry's ashes were in the urn surrounded by flower bouquets. A framed picture of Gerry was in front of her husband and his family. The music player didn't work for some reason so there wasn't any music. After a brief reading of scriptures and responses, the pastor asked the family to share their memories. I led off with the theme of "Gerry is a Family Treasure," then two of Gerry's step-daughters shared their memories, my cousin Joan had fond memories to share, and cousin Peter finished with his memories and words of wisdom and appreciation. The service finished with a short homily, prayers and a commendation.

Then it was over to the gravesite. The urn and flowers were displayed alongside the grave, and the pastor said more prayers and committed her ashes to the ground. Some of us then went to the gravestones of Peter' and Joan's parents and took some pictures there.

Off we went back to cousin Barby's home in Westford, and almost everybody managed to get there. We were soon joined by Barby's 4 grandchildren and a son-in-law - that livened things up quite a bit! There was a nice spread with sandwiches, salad, fruit and quiche, and scrumptious chocolate eclair type desserts. We had a wonderful time catching up with the cousins we haven't seen for awhile, and sharing our family pictures with them. The folks from Maine left for the drive back, and others left over time. We stayed behind with Barby and her family, and had a great time watching the little ones play and learn with cousin Linda.

Finally, we went out to dinner with Barby's family. The kids kept their energy level to the end - we split them up a bit and had two adults per kid - that worked well! Then it was back to the hotel after a long day. We packed tonight - we got all of the papers and photos into the suitcases. We leave the hotel at 7 AM in the morning, and Manchester NH at 9 AM.

I will post my memories of Aunt Gerry later.

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