I keep meaning to update, but life has been a bit of a whirl wind the past month. So I will start my update today with a tid-bit from this past month.
Saying Good Bye
Steve’s grandfather, Nick or Dzeda,( meaning “grandpa” in Russian I am told) passed away this year in August. He and his wife Luba, “Baboonya” (you guessed it, grandma in Russian), were married for 60 years.
Dzeda and Baboonya - two amazing people!
Funny how the Lord zigzags us all around, making a beautiful tapestry called life. I’m so thankful for the people that have been weaved into my life. Put there for various reasons. Dzeda and Baboonya adopted me as one of their grandchildren and blessed me as one of their own. Their kindness to me and my family are beyond words. They have had a huge impact on my life through their family.
Steve and I were blessed to be able to take a trip down to Los Angeles for the funeral. Dzeda – being a Molokan ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molokan) was buried in the traditional Molokan way. I was honored that I, being non-Molokan, was able to be a part of this beautiful experience. Molokan funerals are very different from traditional American funerals. One thing really standing out, everyone dresses in White. Including, a sharp and peaceful looking Dzeda in his White suit, White shoes and White casket. Women wear a Kasinka, a head covering that is traditional for women to wear for funerals, weddings and church services. The funerals usually are two days, but since Dzeda lived in Oregon, he had a one day funeral service in Gervais and then the traditional two day service in LA.
Our whole family was able to travel and meet up. It was a blessing to see family we hadn’t seen in years and be able to catch up. Getting to see David & Erica was such a delight! (They have been a huge help for us with our adoption process.)
We met family and relatives we had never met face to face and talked and shared with new friends. Our family had a great visit with Pop’s father. (Guess what his name is...How did you know it was George?) Steve and I were able to stay with our close friends Aaron and Esther and their adorable little blonde cutie, Logan. We are so grateful to them for their hospitality! We even got to relax and lounge around pool side for a little bit thanks to Aaron’s mother, Ellen. Most of our family stayed with her. (What a sweet woman and what a gorgeous place to stay!) Thankfully, we were able to get some great pictures with family and even got to do some sightseeing in between all the other stuff we were doing.
Being a part of this was an amazing experience for me. Culturally it was a bit different but in that good sort of way. It is good to be taken out of our comfort zone sometimes. Emotionally it was tough. It was a process of mourning, remembrance and embracing a life well lived. Seeing the fruitful vine and seeing firsthand the promises God keeps. Letting go and saying good bye at least for now, knowing it is only for a short time. Tough to explain how you can have a heavy heart and yet at the same time, a heart filled with joy. The funeral was beautiful.
We all stood close by as Dzeda was lowered into the ground on that second day by his grandsons. Molokan men stood on one side and women on the other all singing in Russian a rhythmic chant. It made the moment beautiful and surreal. All of us dressed in White, each standing with our handful of dirt. The deep and profound realization of what we truly are, Dirt. Dirt made a live.
And it is a most amazing gift.
We bloom, flower, wither and die.
|Steve & I|
|Baboonya & Children|
|Baboonya & Children|
|Pop's Father, George|
|Ellen, George & Tanya|
|Steve & Logan|
|Aaron, Logan, Steve & Esther|