2009 Houston

My 2009 trip to Houston for Grandma Barbara's funeral.

I left SAC at 3:30 PM on Thursday 3/19 and arrived around 11:00 PM (all times local) in Houston at Hobby Airport. I got to the hotel, a Days Inn on I-10 a couple of miles from Grandma Barbara's place, and hit the sack. Not much was going on Friday morning so I slept in (still being on West Coast time). Around 11 AM I called Karthryn who suggested I call over to Grandma's house and see what was going on. I talked with Beverly who said most people were driving in that day and many would start arriving around 3:00 PM. I got to the house around 3:30 PM.

Julia met me at the door. She and her husband Ralph had just arrived. Janice and Jeff, with their 3 girls had been there for a bit as well. Beverly was out running errands. When Beverly got back she gave me a couple of cards that she found while sorting through Grandma's stuff, both cards that came from us back in the mid-80's. She also said she found some pictures that she thought might be Grandpa Narum with my Dad. Sure enough we sorted through a few rolls and found about 10 pictures which I was able to bring home. You can see all of those here.

Most everyone else showed up over the course of the next hour or so. As I was meeting everyone I noticed all of the pictures on the Grandma's fridge of all of the grandchildren including a couple of pictures from the Crawfords. I made sure to take a couple picture of the fridge and those are here.

From there we went to the Funeral home for the visitation at 6:00 PM. They had decided not to have Grandma there but just have pictures that they found. As such, it was mostly socializing with family and friends and viewing the pictures, which was a very nice set. I spent a long time talking with Uncle Ken (Kapp), and also a woman who's name I've now forgotten (last name Lemmons) who was Grandma Barbara's sister's daughter. Her brother, Mark, was a youth pastor and was going to be officiating at the Memorial. She was very nice. I spent time talking with Karthryn as well and she talked about taking a cruise to Alaska this summer with her friends that she was excited about.

For what it is worth, everyone seemed to know of us Crawfords, at least vaguely, even the most distant relatives who were there. Nobody was at all surprised to find out there was a long lost son (and grandsons) of Grandpa Tom.

The next morning we headed over to the cemetery at 10:00 AM for what was called the burial. They had Grandma's casket (closed) over the grave site where she was to be buried. The Pastor (the same guy as the upcoming Memorial) spoke for about 5 minutes, mostly about how Grandma was now in heaven. That was the totality of that service. Everyone walked over to the Hicks plot which was just a couple hundred yards away in the cemetery. Great Grandma and Grandpa Hicks (Barbara's parents) as well as about 8 or so of their descendents were all buried there. It was completely full, which was why Grandma and Grandpa Narum were located elsewhere. While we were over there the bulldozers efficiently buried Grandma. They were in the process of putting the grass back on as we were driving away.

From there we drove straight to the Church where there was a lunch provided for the family. We all got there around 11:00 AM. It was at this HUGE Baptist Church a few miles from Grandma's house. We'd called it a "MegaChurch". I spent time talking with Julia and Ralph as well as the nice lady from the visitation I can't remember and her husband.

The Memorial was at 1:00 PM. The service was held in the Chapel, which was as large as most regular church's sanctuary. It probably held about 400 people and was a little over half full with attendees. It started with music from Alissa (Karthryn's daughter) on her violin and Amanda (one of Janice's daughters) sang Amazing Grace. Then a bunch of the grandkids came up and read short scripture passages, 5 in all if I remember correctly. That led to the regular part of the service with Hymms, a sermon, a Eulogy, open speaking time, kicked off by Beverly's husband Joe, which included Jeff who spoke of how loved he felt as a son-in-law, a long time friend and fellow bridge player, a long time friend of the girls who lived down the street and one or two others. None of the daughters spoke.

Afterwards there was a reception in adjacent social hall. I spent a lot of time talking with Janice and how much I remember of her trip to California back when she was in college. Her friend Sherri who went on that trip was there as well and she brought her over to say hi. She was very nice and her husband picked my brain about sailing after Janice brought up that she and Sherri really enjoyed going sailing with you, Dad, during their trip out here. He is a recently new owner of an Erickson 29 which he keeps down in Corpus Christi. I think I talked him into buying an Optimist for his son (the son wanted a Sunfish).

After the reception the family went back to Grandma's house and there was more conversation while watching March Madness basketball games. Many people got on the road later in the evening headed back to their homes, everywhere from Dallas to San Antonio. That evening I said goodbye to the family that was left with the intent that I was going to go down to Galvaston the next day to go to Mass at the old Cathedral and see how they were recovering from IKE. In truth, I was pretty exhaused after the last few days and I just slept in.

On my way to the airport I stopped by the gravesite again to take some pictures. The best of those are here as well. I then went to the airport and flew out mid-afternoon on Sunday.

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