Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My gift to my husband

We are preparing for the memorial service for my mother-in-law next month.  Husband, son and I will be driving to Indiana to join with the extended family to grieve together and remember grandma.  It's going to be a tough trip.  A few months ago I wrote this post, I can still perform an act of love.  At the time, I thought I had done this.  I was wrong.  I needed to do more.  So, this past weekend I made a small book of photos of my mil with as many members of her family as I could find.  Unfortunately, I didn't have most of the pictures.  I was able to get some great old pictures of grandma when she was a child and when she was a teen and when she was a young mother.  These were such a great addition to the book.

I'm feeling so much more "myself" today.  I can talk about the challenges involved in getting the pics from my husband's sister.  Evidently when they were down in Florida taking care of the apartment and sorting through all grandma's things, there were pictures.  All her pictures.  There were ALL the pictures of grandchildren and nieces and nephews and great nieces and grand nephews and friends.  So, the siblings divided the pics into piles and sorted.  Unfortunately my husband was not able to bring the "community" picture pile home with him for me to scan.  His sister took it home and unfortunately was not able to bring herself to work with the pictures.  We had to call her and ask her to PLEASE scan some pictures for me to use in the book.  Unfortunately she was on a weekend holiday, but she was able to understand the urgency of our desire to make this book, as well as recognize her procrastination in dealing with the pictures.  She cut her weekend short and did the scanning.  I was so grateful.

I used My Publisher to make the book.  I am so satisfied with this company.  I've used them before to make commemorative books for retirees in my work.  The quality is quite good and the turn around time for the books is pretty quick.  I think these will be a nice thing for the sisters and nieces and sister-in-law and anyone else desiring a book of pics.

The other chore I have taken on for this memorial is the structuring of some sort of "order of service" for the memorial service.  We aren't having a minister or doing it in a church.  The family wants to do it at home.  I've been to a few funerals in my time, so I'm sure I'll be able to put together some sort of program.  I would like to have a poem or two.  One that comes to mind is "When Tomorrow Starts Without Me" by David Romano.  I think this will be a good one.  If any of you have any favorites, please leave the name of the poem in the comments.  I'd love to have a few to choose from.  I think I'll include the 23rd Psalm.  This is always a comforting chapter of the Bible.  Even though there will be members of many faiths present, I believe this Psalm will work.  A couple of the grandchildren have asked to play music on the instruments they play.  I think that will be precious.  I hope they really know how to play.  ;)

If anyone out there has any other suggestions, I'm taking all ideas.  I'm feeling just a little nervous about this.  I don't want to step on any toes.  I am the "out-law" in this family.  It's just my nature to have a plan.  I'll put it out there to the sisters and the nieces.  They can do with it what they please.

Oh, and I just heard I'm supposed to make scalloped potatoes.  Really?

This is the book I made, if you'd like to see it.


  1. The book looks great!!  What a beautiful thing to do for the memorial service. 

  2. ok going to look at it...and what a wonderful act of love...glad you are feeling better today too...

  3. The book is lovely!

  4. May God bless you as you put so much work into remembering  Grandmother.  I am sure it will be a blessing for all.  My prayers go out to you and your family.

  5. FlowerpowermommaJuly 20, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    Good job on the book. She looks like a fun and very classy lady.
    Am still snickering over the scalloped potatoes though. We lived 11 years in Indiana and that is definitely a Hoosier staple. Blessings and joy, yes joy, as you travel and remember.

  6. Gosh that is a great idea, creating a book for memories of Grandma. Not sure about having the memorial service at home? Sounds different, and yep totally get the "outlaw" status! I am the outlaw in my hubby family!
    Amazing that you are going to so much effort.

  7. You did a wonderful job on the book, hg.  Hey - do they still make those box scalloped potatoes?  I used to make those and they turned out OK.  :) 

    Putting together a memorial service is not easy, but the things you mentioned all sound good.   Here's a poem that Craig Ferguson read on his show as a tribute to his mother after she passed away:  http://www.goingeasy.com/writeside_publishing/parable.html

  8.  Thank you, Lynn.  What a lovely verse for a mom.  I think I know who Craig Ferguson is, but I'm going to have to Google him.  :)  Oh yeah, they are definitely getting the boxed 'taters.

  9. Craig has that late show that comes on after David Letterman - so it's on at 12:30am.  I used to dvr his shows, but they were stacking up.  I like him because he is a funny Scotsman.  :) 

  10. What a great idea. I like the idea of having photos and articles about that the deceased liked. The best memorial service I went to was one in which all of his friends spoke, surrounded by his stuff, his boat, his hats, his photos, and there was a party afterwards outside. Beautiful.


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