Written and images on this blog are Judie Ryan's sole property unless otherwise indicated.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Around the middle of November, my cousin's daughter (I just call her a niece, because the actual relationships' once removed, second cousin) are too darn complicated. We drove to North Carolina), stayed a few days and drove 14 hours back. It was a gorgeous wedding, but the wedding pictures aren't done yet. I can show you one though. The one in the middle is the bride. The one on the left is my daughter and on the left, my daughter's fiance.

Later in November:

This is my brother when he was in the army. I was going to post him as my hero for Veteran's day, but as you'll see the month continued with complications, so I didn't get a chance to do that.

My brother was nearly an adult when I was born. He died some years ago of Alzheimer's Disease. Just after I posted to you on November the 7th, his wife died of cervical cancer. Due to some complications in the family, some of us didn't find out about her death until after the funeral was over. Also I couldn't find out, because I was at the wedding in North Carolina.

My brother and she had four adorable children, who are almost my age now. If you can believe so many things can happen all in one month, their oldest daughter, Debbie, died (two weeks after her mother, of a massive heart attack). I have a picture of me at about six-years-old holding baby Debbie. She was the first baby I ever held. I'll post it later if I can find it.

Debbie leaves behind her husband, three children, three siblings and the rest of us. We drove four hours to the viewing. It was not a funeral, because they were not particularly religious. It was very sad, because she was so young.

I used to play the harp in a huge funeral home that had formerly been a grand Victorian home. The home owned two harps and had large rooms for funerals at opposite ends of the house. After playing one funeral, I race upstairs, through the coffin room (Eeeeekk!) and down the opposite staircase to the other side of the house (funeral number 2). Sometimes everyone cried. A few fell into the coffin. Then, because everyone was crying, I'd start crying while playing old time favorites like In the Garden, Amazing Grace, In the Sweet Bye and Bye etc. in the background.  At other funerals, the attendees seemed to be having a party, celebrating a life. Regardless of the kind of funeral, the ministers, all of different religions, always seemed to add a touch of beauty to the services. I missed that gentle touch at Debbie's viewing.

The November finale:

My stepdaughter always works on the holidays, so we have to celebrate Thanksgiving about a week early. We call it the Thanksgiving before Thanksgiving. This year thought, we barely had time to prepare after returning from the funeral. I am still stressed out from the Thanksgiving before Thanksgiving and sleeping a lot. It's probably really because of the whole damn month prewtty much sucked, except for the wedding.

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