Thursday, October 12, 2006

Grandpa's funeral

Have you missed me? Because I've missed blogging. We took a whirlwind trip to Salt Lake for Grandpa Ranquist's funeral. We left early Saturday morning and just got home last night around 9. My head is still spinning. What time zone am I in? What day is it? Hopefully I'll get settled again soon.

The funeral was really a wonderful service. I enjoyed it a lot. I'm so thankful that our whole family could go out.

In fact, all of Andrew's immediate family was there.
It was a great time to visit and enjoy each other's company.

The funeral home had this GREAT kids room with a TV, movies, and toys.
What more could a kid want? It was perfect for the viewing, when the
adults just wanted to visit with extended family members and friends.

Since Grandpa's health had been wavering for the last couple of years and had gotten worse over the last couple of months, his death had been expected. So the shock and dismay that sometimes comes with funerals wasn't there. It was more of a happy feeling. Relief that he was done suffering. Gratitude for the way he touched our lives. Confidence in knowing we'll see him again.

The saddest part of the funeral for me was when they closed the casket and Andrew's dad, Dennis, gave the family prayer. It was a very touching prayer and it's such a moment of finality--Grandpa is really gone. There were a lot of sniffles and tears at that time. Many were my own.

Andrew conducted the funeral. He did a great job. He is very confident and comfortable in front of people. I like watching him conduct. Uncle Alex gave Grandpa's life history. He did a good job. I heard some stories I hadn't known before. And he was able to use some of Grandpa's own words, which was great. There were two really good musical numbers--a men's chorus of Grandpa's sons and grandsons and then Andrew's sister, Angie, sang a beautiful solo. I love her voice. Andrew's brother, Tony, also gave a talk. I guess about 2 years ago Grandpa had asked him to speak at his funeral. (Way to plan ahead!) And he told Tony, "Teach the gospel. And teach it good." Tony is a teacher by profession and it showed. He was entertaining, spiritual, and captivating. Even Brandon listened intently. (That takes a lot.)

Here are the pallbearers. Andrew, Forrest (brother-in-law), Tony(brother),
and all of his male cousins--Adam, Jonathan, Drake, and Nate.
(Dave is the only one missing--he had to fly home early.)

Here are Barb and Dennis (Andrew's parents) with some extended Sweat Family relatives. (Maybe I should've written their names down. I already forgot!) This is a special treat because Andrew's Grandpa Sweat died when Andrew's dad was still a little boy. We never really get together with that side of the family. It was nice to meet some of them at the funeral.

I'll post more about our trip at another time, but I have a lot of laundry to do and Brandon just got home from school. Already?


Sandy said...

I'm glad your blog is back in business! The funeral sounds like it was really nice -- Andrew looks a lot like the rest of his family -- just taller:)

The Hallstrom Family said...

Yea! I knew you would post some pictures soon! You need to post more . . . since I forgot my camera and I'm relying on you so I can just right click and add them to my own stash :-).
It was so great to see you and Drew and the kids. We miss you already!

Jayne said...

Welcome Back!

Mom said...

Thanks for posting these pictures! The names of the "little" Sweat couple standing beside the "big" Sweat couple are Aunt June and Uncle Gail Desmond. She's so cute - she is Grandpa Leo Sweat's youngest sister (they were the last two of the 8 Sweat children). She has the one deep dimple in her cheeck that's a Sweat trait that Angie and Tony got - and he's hilarious - Dennis spent a lot of time with their family when he was growing up - they have 4 sons and a daughter. They're Temple Workers now and told me to always be proud of the Sweat name!

Laurie said...

I did miss your blogging. Glad to see that you had a great tip and a special funeral experience. We have found that the family prayer as the casket is closed is always the hardest part. It is the final moment to say goodbye and see their physical body, which is hard.