Gabrea Journal
The ongoing adventures of three Libertines in love!

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Funeral, A Baby Shower, and Lynn's Paradise Cafe

a posting from Andrea...

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting my homeland of Kentuckiana – that lovely metro-rural-politan area encompassing Louisville and Southern Indiana. I had planned a visit to see my Mom, Step-Dad, Brother and other family before I get too far along to travel, and my mom was throwing me a baby shower. The week before I left, my Grandma Mabel, almost 91 years old, went into the hospital for various health complications, and sadly but peacefully passed away on March 31. My hope was that I would be able to see her on this visit, but she died 2 days before I arrived. Instead, I would be attending her funeral. I selfishly lamented that this visit would be tinged with sadness and that I hadn’t gotten to say goodbye to her before she died, though I knew it was important that I be there to support my mom during the funeral and be there with my family.

What I didn’t imagine was how positive the experience would be for me. In those 4 days spent with my extended family, we all came a little closer together as we took the time to feel the loss and more importantly celebrate the woman that Miss Marvelous Mabel was to each and to all of us. As we shared our photos, memories, and stories of our Mother, Grandmother, Friend, her spirit was just as alive as ever, if not more so. In those days, I came to know my Grandmother better than I had before, by seeing her through the eyes of others who loved her, and whom she loved. So instead of seeing her briefly in a hospital bed, I saw her vibrant and full of life, shining in all of our hearts all week.

Spending consecutive and concentrated time with my extended family was a bonus. Being together for a few days, we all had a chance to get past the formalities and really get comfortable with each other. It was a great opportunity for me to reconnect with cousins, aunts, and uncles that I haven’t seen in years – to learn about their lives and share some of my life with them. The support and love I received from my family with respect to our life in Mexico and what we’ve accomplished here was really touching and meaningful to me. At a time when our own little family is growing into its next phase, it felt so important for me to reconnect with my roots.

We wrapped up the weekend with a lovely baby shower, celebrating a new life coming into the world. As we said goodbye to one Mother and Grandmother, so my mother and myself are in the process of transitioning into these new roles ourselves. In the grand cycle of life, it makes a lot of sense.

Perhaps it’s fitting that we had dinner after the wake at Lynn’s Paradise Café, a kitschy and irreverent diner in Louisville’s Highlands. As Mabel settled into her long-awaited paradise – I’d like to think smoking the best cigarettes of her life and winning every hand of poker – our family was together in another version of paraiso -- eating burgers, pancakes and fried green tomatoes for dinner.

It was good to be home.

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