Saturday, October 15, 2011

Anniversary Day

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Some days are just special in a family…for some reason, certain events just seem to gather on one day…

My beautiful grandmother, LaPriel was born on the 14th of October in 1912…just months after the sinking of the Titanic…

Ruby LaPriel Riggs {LaPriel…just 17 years old in this beautiful photo}

Fast forward 25 years…my other grandparents, Dow and Velda, were married on that same day…

BRIDE10_12_01--Velda 2

…little knowing they would share their special day with the mother of their far-in-the-future son-in-law…

Flying farther into the future…my grandfather Dow had passed away in the early ‘90’s…Velda—Grammie—didn’t like being without him, although she felt so much joy in being with the rest of her family…

Velda with my girls, May 23,  2001_edited-1 {The last time we saw Grammie…May 2001.  Surrounded by her beautiful great-granddaughters…just the way she liked it…}

“Why am I still here, Julie?”, she would often ask me over the phone.  Firmly believing she would be with her husband again after she died, she would then ask—“Why hasn’t he come for me yet?”…and jokingly she would add… “Do you think he doesn’t love me anymore?”…and then more seriously… “Do you think he has forgotten me?”

DSC06359_edited-1 {the newlyweds…Dow & Velda on the front porch of their first home together}

Quietly smiling to myself at my end of the phone connection, I assured her—time and time again—that my Grandad of course still loved her and would come for her at the right time…and not until then…

DSC06357_edited-1 {I love cutting out portrait shots…makes them feel so alive to me.  A copy of one of the beautiful telegrams sent for their wedding…}

A little less than two weeks after one of the most dreadful of days—September 11, 2001—my mother was with me visiting for the week.  While sitting at the table crafting with me, she suddenly said, “I need to call Mom.”

They had quite a long conversation, but something didn’t seem quite right to Mom…She tried to call her back shortly after , but Grammie never answered the phone again…

DSC06360_edited-1 {pretty crysal flower stem from Michael’s…beautiful background paper from Crafty Secrets’ “Creating with Vintage Patterns” CD}

A friend was called to go and check on Velda--she had had a massive stroke right after her talk with Mom—and was in a coma-like condition which she was never to come out of…

A last visit with my dear Grammie at the hospice in which she was staying…so hard to see her that way…eyes open, but she was barely there…she was waiting.

DSC06351_edited-1 {photo taken on their 50th wedding anniversary…Velda was so proud to still fit in her beautiful wedding dress}

The day soon came.  Two weeks after her stroke, Velda left us.  A very special day, indeed—October 14th.  Her anniversary day.

I just knew that her sweetheart would come for her when the time was right.

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Late that same day, my daughter Sarah, then just 6 years old, drew a beautiful picture….a long table with many place settings ready for a feast…standing in the center was a very special couple—Dow and Velda—side by side.

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I asked Sarah what the picture was about…”It’s their anniversary party in Heaven!”, she said, very matter-of-factly to me…

Of course it was.  Some days in a family are just more special than others…

Happy Anniversary.

With love,

Julie