After a long battle with COPD, Bryon’s mother passed away a few days after Christmas. It was and was not a surprise. Since we’d just visited her in Tennessee for Thanksgiving, she’d actually been doing a bit better, although still mostly homebound and tethered to a perpetual oxygen machine.
COPD is a horrible illness, but Bryon’s mother was tough and a real fighter from way back.
She’d had to be.
We made the long journey back to Tennessee a couple of days after her passing to be with family, have her cremated and hold a small memorial service. Then it was home for one night (New Year’s Eve) and off to Nebraska for another small service and to bury her remains.
While it was a sad time, seeing all of Bryon’s family on both sides was good. Eileen would have enjoyed that, and I’m sure she was there in spirit. Her name was invoked in many happy remembrances throughout the trip.
Here’s how it all went down.
Bryon’s sister, Precious arranged for a truly beautiful little service.
We worked in a bit of sightseeing along the Ocoee River.
We had a pizza dinner with most of the family one evening.
We went over to visit with Precious and her family the last night.
Somehow we ended up with lots of pics of Jackson (the dog) and none of Precious and the kids. Doh!
The next day we were on the road again and but spent one night at home, carrying out our New Year’s Eve tradition of crab legs.
Then it was on the road again. To Nebraska.
We did have a few pit stops along the way. And way, way more than Bryon wanted. I had to explain to him he was travelling cross country with two women. Things were never going to get better on that front.
We arrived at long last, exhausted but happy to be fulfilling Eileen’s final wishes.
We spent some quality time with Bryon’s sister and her family.
The next day we had a lovely graveside service with Eileen’s remaining sister and extended family.
Gary, Bryon’s dad, officiated.
Bryon’s Aunt Jan and Uncle Kelly opened their home after the service for food and a reception.
On the way back, we got to meet the newest addition to the family, baby Saleen, for the first time.
Seven days and 2,600 miles later, we were home at last and making chicken noodle soup.
Rest in Peace in your home, Eileen.