So here I am in California. The memorial is over, it's 10.20 at night, the childers are sleeping, my cousins are gone to bed, my uncle has retired to his tent in the back garden! and for the first time there's time to marshall my thoughts.
But I'm tired, and it would be a good idea to try and get some quality sleep before my youngest wakes for feeds then leaks out of his nappy a couple hours later and th all get up at six... urg.
My family managed to relax and unwind tonight for the first time since their horrible shock last Saturday afternoon. The pressure of putting together the service, dealing with the morgue, with the lawyer, banks, feeling their way through all that stuff while in shock and missing their mother has been huge.
But they did so well. I'm so proud of them. They did much better than we did. And we had such a lovely family party today - I met my uncle's family properly for the first time today, and they're so sweet. I saw my aunts, and cousins, though I didn't have enough time to talk to them, as my grandfather's widow was there, looking to talk about how much she missed him. And she told me 'now that I"m a married woman) that when she and he had come to visit us in the eighties, newly married, they'd had a shag in the barn and I'd come looking for them, 'Grandma! Grandpa!'and interrupted! Ok, the 'now you're a married woman' bit was funny, but sheesh! And later when my sister and her girlfriend (calm down lads) told us they were going to a b&b on the coast, she said that she and my grandfather had often stayed there, and you could see my sister feeling less cheerful about her romantic night away, wondering whether theirs would be the bed her grandfather had canoodled in... heh.
Meh. I've got a bug bite.
We had a lovely afternoon. Shortly before they left one of the kids came in to get some bread and informed us they were having an 'eating party'. My daughter came in a few minutes later to butter her won bread, having been invited. Very cute. It turned out later that he eating party had been in my uncle's tent. I hope they haven't left crumbs in his sleeping bag.
Earlier my uncle had wondered what to call the gathering back at the house. I think that's what we could have called it - it's what it was! My uncles mother is from Wisconsin, and brought lasagna, chicken and rice and two kinds of brownie. Her daughter in law brought a cheesecake. I made quiche and biscuit cake, though that was a bit of a challenge as all my cousin's husband find was low fat cinnamon animal biscuits.
I have many thoughts to report but no energy - tomorrow. I've missed blogging, I've been thinking in blogpost for the last few days.
It was so good being with my family today. If you have a nice family you don't see too often, or a group of good friends, I urge you to arrange a get-together for no particular reason, just a celebration. It's sad to only do it for a death, even for a weddding, when everyone's stressed. A summer picnic would be perfect. And would be a nice thing to remember as a last meeting if something bad happens thereafter.