"It's the Circle of Life; and it moves us all through despair and hope, through faith and love."
-Rafiki, The Lion King
I was always taught that when life gives you lemons, stick them in your bra and make your boobs look bigger...or make lemonade; whatever strikes your fancy! And that's exactly what Team Teichert did this past weekend. My husband's maternal grandfather passed away last week. It was not sudden, but still sad. His soul left this world while surrounded by loving family members and I know he is now free of pain. In fact, I'd like to think he's clinking cocktails (probably a martini) with my mom; don't hate people, Jesus drank wine!
Anyways, I digress! So the memorial prayer service was scheduled for Saturday morning at a gorgeous little Catholic Church, St. Madeleine's, just outside of Gainesville where he lived. And since we figured Grandpa would want us to celebrate life instead of "mourning" him, we invited ourselves to stay the weekend with some very dear friends of ours (Chris and Amanda) who just happen to live in Gville. Joe and I were both in their wedding, and they in ours; so you get it, we're close enough to drop in with a baby AND a dog.
So we roll into GVegas Friday night like a band of Gypsy's; it is amazing how much crap a baby needs! Sheesh! It was beautiful weather outside though; still a little warm for October, but clear and comfortable. Seeing as this was W's first visit to Gville we decided to walk around downtown (pointed out Lillians...some serious memories there) and get dinner at a new restaurant called Boca Fiesta. YUM! First, their margaritas are not only delish, but deadly...1.5 of those and I was feeeeeeeling it! Second, their food was just as fab. Amanda and I both had the empanadas. I got one cheesy beef and one tempeh empanada and thought they were both equally good; not too greasy or over-breaded/fried. Joe and Chris both got the pizzadilla...yeah, let that image soak in a little. Thirdly, we were able to sit outside and enjoy the weather. But as I sat there I thought to myself that sometimes the thing that makes a dining experience worth while is the company...and ours was superb, so great to catch up with our friends! PLUS, W was killing it! There were more people cooing over him than ever before...Joe said we should have gotten a free meal for how much attention we were getting - haha!
Saturday morning was lovely. It was perfectly intimate and touching. The mass was organized solely for Grandpa and we were able to pray for the repose of his soul, and celebrate his life with some of the family. While listening to Father's homily he said something very poignant that reminded me of my favorite German proverb; "Those who live in the Lord never see each other for the last time." I wish I could remember his exact wording, but it went something like "when our loved ones pass away they don't die. If we are believers, they live on in our hearts forever." At that a wave of peace washed over me. Funerals always remind me of my mother's passing, they always remind me of the immense loss I experienced and the hole in my heart that has scarred over, but will never heal. And as I looked around I realized that funerals aren't for the deceased (God hears are prayers from anywhere), they are for us...the ones that get left behind. We need someone to tell us it's going to be okay; that our loved one is in a better place. We need someone to tell us everything happens for a reason! Have Faith! Believe! Live your life...
...And that is what brings me to the glorious revelation of this weekend; The Circle of Life! After the funeral there was a small reception. It was there that I watched my beautiful son and niece MJ (who is only 4 weeks older than him) start crawling around the church hall together. They were smiling and laughing, blissfully unaware of any worry or care, and anybody that was watching them had a huge grin on their face and couldn't help but be relieved of sorrow for that quick second. Joe made the comment how surreal and powerful it is to go from "watching" one life leave the earth to watching another life enter, explore and learn about it. The Circle of Life; it's truly amazing. W completed Joe and My's family. He is the reason we have Faith...the reason we believe...the reason we live our lives.
We returned to our friends house in time to change and get ready for the Gator game! It was so nice that we could just relax after such a sad morning. And yeah, the Gators lost - ugh! I know we say, "In all kinds of weather we'll all stick together..." but losing still stinks! Major boo hands! But, we had a fabulous BBQ dinner! Chris woke up at 5am that morning to smoke a 6lb pork butt on his big green egg for 10 hours! RIDIC! And Amanda made homemade mac n' cheese and coleslaw salad...nothing like comfort food to make you feel better; Good friends like them are another reason to celebrate life!
Then Sunday morning after W's nap we loaded everyone in the car (including the three dogs) and headed out to Hawthorne Trail. We walked around La Chua trail where we saw...are you ready... a mother alligator and at least ten of her little babies! If that isn't a direct sign from God, or mom, or grandpa about the "Circle of Life" than I don't know what is!? And then of course we ended our weekend trip at The Swamp for a little lunch and Wake's true "baptism."
It turned into a very nice weekend for our family...we juiced the hell out of those lemons! And to top it all off, last night Wakeland fell sound asleep on my shoulder in the rocking chair...something that rarely, if ever, happens (little wiggle worm), and made my heart and weekend complete.
~ Excelsior my friends! ~
Labels: Circle of Life, family, Gainesville, gators, Sami's Shenanigans