It is always important to us to mark this anniversary in a significant way, and this year was no exception. My sister is in town with her kids Rachel and Christopher (they are Hurricane Ike evacuees) and my nephew Camden lives here in Austin. So, we decided that we wanted the grandkids to participate in remembering her. Although only Rachel remembers my Mom (Christopher was only 20 months old when she died and Camden was born the day of her funeral), they are very familiar with her because we so often share with them stories and pictures of her.
The family met at mine and Dad's house in the evening, and we decided to have the kids release balloons to the heavens in memory of Mom. They were so enthusiastic, and it was so very sweet! We followed the balloon release with dinner from Mr. Gatti's Pizza, which was always one of Mom's favorites. That was followed by watching the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football, which Mom also loved, being the huge sports fan that she was. (One of the legendary stories about Mom is that she actually cried after the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1979 Super Bowl. I can still see her crying in the kitchen like it was yesterday. Hers were tears of outrage over some bad calls that the Cowboys had gotten. Don't get anyone in my family started on this. We are still mad about it, some 29 years later).
Anyway, it was a great evening overall, one that Mom would have loved. And once again, we found ourseleves, even in the midst of our grief, feeling very blessed.
Here is a picture of the kids with their balloons (from left to right, that's Rachel, Christopher, and Camden).
And here is a video of the kids releasing the balloons. The grandkids always called her "Mum." (You'll have to forgive some of the laughter on the video. We Werners don't do anything without humor, and yes, that includes grief):
And, for true comic relief, here is a video of Rachel and Christopher releasing the final balloon, but only after arguing about it first:
Finally, here's a picture of my Mom holding me when I was a month old (she is on the right, in red). Is she 60's cool, or what?
Thanks be to God for the life of this woman.