On my Mom’s side, the entire family lives in Arizona & Texas.  My Mom is the baby of 4 kids so it makes for a pretty large family especially considering that her big brother Billy and his wife Lorna had 7 (yes 7!) wonderful children.  My Mom’s oldest sister Jeanette lived here in California and I grew up with her 2 kids, THEN they went off to college in AZ and stayed there!  Whatever! So now, all I have here on my side within an hour of us is my Mom and Cliff. It kinda stinks.

Here are a few shots of the fam out there, we were missing a couple of peeps at the party so the crowd looks a bit small, BUT don’t be fooled!

Off Camera.

I really enjoy shooting off camera and it’s a good thing because little Ruby refuses to let me get a shot of her. She can be looking right at me and smiling and then, as soon as I lift up my camera to shoot her, she just looks away ever so slightly! But I love the feeling of off camera shots so much better.

When we were in AZ, I loved Ruby’s hair.  It was so pretty the curls were relaxed a bit because of the very dry air so it was longer then it is at home.  Not that I don’t LOVE her curls, but I enjoyed seeing her with hair a little longer. She looked so pretty to me.

I was okay ’til they played TAPS.

It’s funny because one thing that we all shared in common during my grandpas funeral was that we felt “at peace”.  Maybe it’s because my Grandpa lived such an awesome Godly life that there was absolutely no question about him being at the big party in the sky, maybe it was because we knew he was not in pain anymore, but whatever the reason we all felt very at peace celebrating him. Well, that was until they played TAPS at his burial.  I felt it first in the pit of my stomach, then up my throat in a big lump and finally uncontrollable tears that were hidden behind my sunglasses and camera as I snapped away so I wouldn’t forget the exact sentiment of the day.

That darn horn player, he had us all sobbing.

For my family, they can download the photos here. I’ll have the rest of them posted for you all tomorrow.

Jessica B. - April 23, 2011 - 3:18 am

Beautiful photos Anji…hang in there, I’m thinking of you. Let me know how you’re doing…

Mom - April 23, 2011 - 5:05 pm

Wow!! These pictures are sooo good. Great job.

The Hubster - April 23, 2011 - 5:58 pm

What a blessing to have such a talented artist in our family. I love you more than you can possibly imagine.

Turn out the lights, the party’s over.

They say that all – all – good things must come to an end. . .

Grandpa drove up in his big red truck.  I sat clinging to my Mom on the side of the road in front of a dive motel holding my burnt Snoopy doll.  Our VW square back had caught on fire the night before, I was asleep in the back seat and all I can remember is my Mom trying to get me out of the car “Honey, it’s time to wake up. . . you need to get out of the car now, anjibel, come on!”  I finally got out and we ran behind the car, not 30 seconds after we were out the car exploded, one tire then the next. My mom was only wearing her bikini (we lived at the beach) and I was in PJs.  Everything else we owned was in that car. Semi after semi passed us up, car after car, no one stopped.  It seemed like forever.  I can’t remember how the fire got put out, but I do know finally someone stopped and at that point the car was either put out or, it had just stopped burning.  Mom and I grabbed whatever we could that was at all salvageable, for me it was my snoopy, for my mom it was her bottle of Opium perfume and hitched a ride with this man who dropped us off at the nearest Motel. I still remember the smell of that snoopy doll as I sat in the seat clutching it.  The rest of the night was blur but I remember the next morning, Grandpa drove up in his big red truck to pick us up and take us back to Arizona.  What I didn’t know was that while we were leaving from San Clemente to get to Arizona, we had only gotten to the 10 fwy (not even 1/2 way there) So Grandpa drove at least 5 hours, through the night to come get us by morning.  He was good like that, he was always there for me and my mom.

But, They say that all – all – good things must come to an end. . .

Grandpa is a hero not just mine, but one for our country.  He was a real life War Hero.  82nd Airborne he rode a CG4A glider onto the beach in Normandy on D-Day.  My Grandpa fought hard for this country and is proud of it.  He writes “In a hedge far away lies a CB4A – It’s fuselage all tattered and torn – Though I weathered the flak – My poor aching back – Regrets it was ever Airborne – I would turn in my Glider-man’s pay – Were I certain that some day, anon – I could trade that CG4A for a place in the base echelon.” – Millard Fourt written in 1944 after landing in Normandy, France on June 6th before daylight.

But, They say that all – all – good things must come to an end. . .

This morning my Grandpa went home to be with our Lord.  The finny thing is, that in my mind even before he got to meet our maker I can hear my Grandma saying “Well it’s about time, MILLARD! where have you been the last two years!” I know she’s been waiting for him.  I know she’s missed him, and I am glad he’s not in pain anymore. When my Grandma Margaret was still alive she’d always sing a little, every day. And almost every night at bedtime she’d look at Grandpa Millard and sing ”C’mon Millard – Turn out the lights, the party’s over, They say that all – all – good things must come to an end. . .”

So, Goodbye Grandpa.  You are my Hero and I will miss you dearly and although it has come to an end here on this earth, I know that you are waiting for all of us in heaven with Grandma, where the party will never end and there will be all of the homemade strawberry ice cream you can eat.

Here are a few photos of your beautiful life that Uncle Perry and Aunty Jeanette got together last year for your 90th birthday party and HERE is the story that you wrote of your life and gave to me and Mom 12 years ago.

John - April 15, 2011 - 7:40 pm

Thanks you for sharing this. I don’t remember if mom got a copy of this, but it is the first time that I read it.

Mom - April 21, 2011 - 7:08 pm

This is beautiful!! I can’t get through it without crying. Thanks so much for speaking at his memorial. It meant a lot to me and dad

Embracing the camera.

OK, so there is this little thing going on with a bunch of mommy bloggers, and it challenges us to get OUT from BEHIND that camera and step into our photos, to give that gift to our children…so here it goes.  I am going to EMBRACE THE CAMERA.

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emily anderson - April 18, 2011 - 3:15 pm

beautiful picture…beautiful family.

so glad you joined us :)

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