One week can contain so much.

I made a quick trip to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (if you weren’t raised on the Canadian prairies, saying that can be a challenge) for Grandma’s funeral last Thursday – there and back in just over 24 hours. No direct flights exist between Vancouver and Saskatoon, so finding the right connections took a while. And forget any seat sales. You can fly to Lima, Peru for less.

I am really, really glad I went for Grandma’s memorial service and all the “festivities” that entailed. The funeral was nice – very traditional – and Grandma actually looked very pretty, as if she were simply asleep. Many tributes to her hospitality, her love for her family, and her strong faith in God painted a very true picture of her 95 years.

The best part, however, was meeting up with cousins I hadn’t seen in years: Curtis from Ecuador, Kim from Kansas, Andrea from Alberta, Brad from Kelowna. When did they all grow up? I can say this, being the oldest of Grandma’s 69 grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

My 31-year-old cousin arrived at the funeral in handcuffs and leg chains, accompanied by 3 armed guards – rather disconcerting for all the elderly people in attendance. Chris was recently convicted of attempted murder and will be spending the next five years in prison. I talked to him for a bit after the service, and he shared with me how he knows he made a mistake and has to pay for it. All I saw in him was deep remorse. He also told me that he is in solitary confinement for the time being, with no personal belongings in his cell aside from his Bible. And he’s reading it. I’m so glad that God is no respecter of persons and that He can meet a convicted criminal in a prison cell.

We buried Grandma in the Laird Cemetery – 40 miles north of Saskatoon. She is resting beside Grandpa now. Mom and I wandered through the cemetery while we were there, “visiting” my other grandfather, my uncle (who died when we were 10), two sets of great-grandparents, and numerous other distant and not-so-distant relatives. So much history in that place.

I have rambled on and on with this post. Time to finish.

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