Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We laugh, we cry, we love.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 3:4

This verse perfectly encapsulates the past week and a half for us. With the passing of Davids grandfather, a quick trip to Los Angeles for the funeral, time with our amazing family, meeting our youngest niece for the first time, time alone as a couple just to reflect on life and all the Lord has done for us. Our emotions were all over the place.

It was a blessing to be able to go to LA, I wouldn't have wanted to miss that for anything. Yes it was sad and difficult but it was also a blessing to be able to love on our family and mourn with them.

Dzeda was Molokan and it was his wish to be buried traditionally. We honored that. We all wore white and the women wore a head covering as is tradition. All of the male grandchildren were pall bearers at different points in the two day long service. The traditional grave side service was beautiful. There is something to be said about burying your own and not leaving it to someone else. Emotionally very hard but also very healing. Watching my husband bury his grandfather made me all teary yet proud of the man I'm married to. Listening to David and his brother talk about their memories of Dzeda made me realize what an impact he'd had on their lives. I was challenged by that. Challenged by what my life reflects and what kind of legacy I am leaving my children and eventually Lord willing my grandchildren. I pray my life reflects my King and nothing less.

Dzeda loved the Lord. He loved his family. He loved others. This was apparent by every word spoken at his funeral and celebration feast. The turn out was larger then expected which was just another tribute to the man Dzeda was.

Pictures are not allowed during the service and burial. The memories are forever etched in my mind. Absolutely perfect. A gift from the Lord. Once Dzeda was laid to rest our time was spent building memories with our family and enjoying their company. We hadn't seen most of them in over a year and our extended family even longer then that. We did a group picture of all of the grandchildren and then grandchildren and spouses, I love it.

Baboonya and all of her grandchildren.
Nazaroff Cousins.
Sometimes we can't contain ourselves.
Baboonya, her kids and their spouses.
All the grand kids, spouses, and one great grand baby.
Aren't we cute. :)

Beautiful Baboonya.

Davids cousin Jesse and his gorgeous wife Fenya.

Davids parents treated all of us kids to an amazing 1 hour full body deep tissue massage. Don't let the ghetto shop fool you. It was heavenly. Not your traditional massage but it was fantastic!
I wish we had one of these little shops here!
Meeting our precious niece Amara was a sweet gift in the middle of sadness. I love being an auntie and not meeting her for the first 11 months of her life was pure torture. I told her mama in the days before we left to whisper in her ear that she must love her auntie. It must have worked. She loved her uncle and I almost as much as we love her. She is one amazing little person. Full of personality, the sweetest little face, and such a good baby. One of my sister in laws made fun of me in all my baby hoggyness (is that a word? Probably not but I just made it one) - I didn't care. I had four days to love on this baby and I made good use of it.

Chillin' by the pool.
Yes, I held this precious babe every chance I got.
The gang with Pops Father.
Bless sweet Ellen for hosting our crew. Her house is amazing, the pool was a perfect respite for all of us.
Our beautiful and gracious hostess Ellen. We are so grateful for your hospitality.
Davids sister Kathy, her husband David, and our precious baby niece Amara.
The love of my life and Moi.
Ellen, Pop, and Mom.
The Dave's
Cutie baby Amara.
We had a couple days to do a little sight seeing. I'd never been to Hollywood so we hung out there a bit, walking around and just hanging out with my husband and the rest of the family.
I'm in love with the Farmers Market. So fun!

Grauman's Chinese Theater.
In front of the Marilyn Monroe Fountain.
Yes we're a little crazy.
Before we caught our red eye flight home we drove down to Santa Monica Pier. Watched the sun set and walked on the beach. Gorgeous!

Santa Monica Hotel


Connie said...

SO glad you were able to go...tis a beautiful post Erica, and lovely pics.

Lara said...

I think it's really special that you all honored his wishes for a traditional burial. The rest of the trip looked like a good time!