It was a bittersweet weekend. An extra long one actually. So this will be an extra long post.
My weekend started Wednesday afternoon.
Tuesday night Kyle's grandfather passed away. It was something we were expecting for a while and somewhat of a blessing. He was really not doing well the last week of his life and was relieved of his suffering. The visitation was scheduled 4 hours away in TN for Thursday night and the funeral Friday morning at 11am. This posed a unique issue.
It was also graduation weekend. For my husband and brother. Not only graduation, but Friday afternoon at 2pm was also my brother's commissioning service into the US Air Force. In Louisville. Not something I wanted to miss (neither did Kyle) but he needed to decide what he would rather us do. It was his grandfather after all. (A man I greatly respected and loved.)
So Wednesday afternoon I left work early to make sure we had everything finished before we went out of town... Mother's Day presents... errands to run... because it was about to be a whirlwind.
We left Thursday morning and went straight to TN. We were able to spend a few hours with Kyle's family before the visitation. Before we went to the funeral home, my mother in law mentioned my brother's commissioning service and that we were both going to miss it. I commented that Kyle still hadn't decided what to do. So she decided right then for us. We should attend the visitation... we would see everyone there, get to talk and hear stories of Vernon's life, and then we should make it back to Louisville. It's what Kyle's grandfather would have wanted us to do. Thank you for making that decision for us.
|Our favorite picture of him from his 80th birthday party last summer.|
The visitation was tough. But we learned some cool stuff about this man. Everyone he came in contact with in his 80 years was touched by him. He was such a lovable man. And he had the greatest laugh. Also, like most military men, (he served in the Navy), he had a nickname. Jason. Makes no sense. No one that we talked to knows why it was his nickname. But there was a picture of him with his buddies and all of their caps had their nicknames painted on. His real name was Vernon Myles Hartley. Jason. Interesting. He volunteered at a lot of community projects. At the hospital. Touching lives everywhere. He loved baseball and hard work. He loved his shed in the backyard and obsessively fixed anything that was broken. He mowed the little old ladies' lawns in his area. Above all, he loved the Lord and his family. I'm glad he was my husband's grandfather. And I'm glad I was welcomed into the family by him almost 7 years ago.
We made it back to Kyle's parent's house at about 11pm CT. We got up at 6:30am the next morning, left the house by 8am and made it to Louisville at 12:30pm ET. Changed clothes and quickly made it to my brother's commissioning service.
|from our sibling shoot. more pics to come in a few days.|
He had no idea we had decided to come. I was able to surprise him with a kiss on the cheek. My little brother's hard work over the past 5 years, the many lessons learned, the close calls with grades, the late nights of working harder than almost every cadet in his detachment, finally paid off. After a terrible Keynote speaker (who never made a point in his 45 minute speech), an oath, many gifts, some video slide shows; my brother and 3 other young men accepted their positions as 2nd Lieutenants in the US Air Force. My brother to eventually be a logistics officer in Japan, another to join the security forces in North Dakota, the 3rd to pilot training in Mississippi, and the 4th to join combat systems in Florida.
|Being sworn in by a good family friend and mentor.|
My brother decided not to walk in his graduation Saturday morning. He didn't really care to (they don't get individually recognized, there are so many people) especially after the 2.5 hour commissioning ceremony we had all just been there for. So we slept in a bit, grabbed some lunch and waited for Kyle's parents to make it up here for his graduation that afternoon. My husband is now officially a doctor. It has been a long road getting here, but a long road that now feels like happened in a heartbeat. Congratulations to all the students who are about to begin their Residency journeys.
3 weeks to our moving date and the beginning of a whole new adventure.