Mom's memorial service just couldn't have been nicer, or gone better. How glad that made us all feel. We gathered at mom's church for our start. We were all soo pleased when we went in and found that her quilting group that she had belonged to for several years had gotten together and made her a special memorial quilt. It was BEAUTIFUL! It was hanging on a display stand beside the quest book. I did not think to get a picture of it, but it was such a nice touch. On the other side stood our display boards with pictures of the story of mom's life, and in between were lots of beautiful flowers, mainly in pinks and lavenders ~ mom's favorites. After this we all headed over to my sister Danae's clubhouse for a reception. It was just beautiful! How mom would have loved it! It was just her. I took as many pictures as I could, not only to have for a remembrance, but also so Melody could see how it all looked. I felt so bad she was not able to be with us all, and she was definitely missed.
|GUEST BOOK AND THE QUILT THEY MADE FOR HER AS YOU WALKED IN THE DOOR|
|DIRECTLY IN FRONT UPON WALKING IN|
|KATIE AND TABI MADE UP THIS CUTE LITTLE PICTURE TO TELL THE STORY OF THE SUGAR COOKIES|
|A COUPLE OF TABLES WITH SOME OF MOM'S FAVORITE THINGS, COLLECTIONS AND PROJECTS, INCLUDING THE CHRISTMAS KNITTING SHE WAS BUSY WORKING ON FOR ALL OF US TO HAVE CHRISTMAS DISH CLOTHS|
|EVERYONE IN HER FAMILY HAS SETS OF THESE COASTERS. BOTH DIANE AND I MAKE THEM NOW SO THAT TRADITION CAN LIVE ON. SHE GAVE A SET OF THOSE BIRTHDAY DOLLS TO EVERYONE OF HER GRAND DAUGHTERS OVER THE YEARS...|
|SHE MADE QUILTED PLACE MATS AND RUNNERS, AND A COUPLE OF QUILTS. ALL OF HER DAUGHTERS GOT ONE ON THEIR 50TH BIRTHDAY. SHE MADE DONNA'S ALREADY EVEN THOUGH SHE WILL NOT BE 50 FOR 6 MORE YEARS!|
|ALL OF HER DAUGHTERS AND GRAND DAUGHTERS GOT A SET OF THESE EMBROIDERED DISH TOWELS WHEN THEY MARRIED. EVERYONE HAS SAVED THEM RATHER THAN USED THEM OF COURSE, HAHA|
|THIS IS JUST A VERY SMALL FEW OF THE MICE AND KITCHEN FAIRIES THAT MOM COLLECTED OVER THE YEARS, AND HER LOVE OF READING HAS BEEN PASSED DOWN TO EVERYONE OF US|
|MOM'S FAVORITE SNACK WAS POPCORN (OF ANY KIND!) AND ROOT BEER!|
|TABLES AND PICTURE BOARDS|
|LOOKED SOO NICE!|
|A LITTLE CLOSER LOOK. THERE WERE TAGS TELLING NAMES AND DATES OF EVENTS|
|JUST A VIEW OF THE MOVIE SCREEN FOR SLIDE SHOW|
|TIME TO PRAY|
|AND TO EAT|
I couldn't decide if I should write out what I wanted to say, or just try and wing it, but I settled on writing it, as mom was ALWAYS telling me she LOVED the way I wrote, so I knew in my heart what she would want from me today.
But now what do I say, and where do I start? I am sure I could tell a hundred stories or more about mom that you would make you all smile and remember her so well. Things she said and did over the years that were soo uniquely her. “this too shall pass” “who cat pawed through this drawer? or cupboard or whatever” ~ her voice on your birthday singing the birthday song, or the famous ”by oh by” or most recently “what are we going to eat?” I know she was everyone's biggest fan and cheerleader, and she honestly WANTED to know all the details of anything and everything that was on our hearts. She would listen with eager ears, and follow along on so many stories that honestly I don’t know how she kept it all straight. But she did, right down to the smallest of details. How we will all miss mom to tell our stories to, and encourage us to keep going when times are tough, or to rejoice with us when things are going our way.
As I was growing up I remember mom as one of the constants in my life that I could always count on. That NEVER changed. As a little girl I remember thinking she was sooo beautiful and hoping to end up as pretty as she was some day. (haha, didn't happen!). As a teen-ager she was there for me in a rough section of my life, and I will be forever grateful. As an adult, she was not only my mother, but one of my very best friends. We enjoyed a relationship that endured no matter what. The times we spent together with her and Joe in these later years going out to dinner or playing cards, were frequent and always soo fun.
How grateful I am to have spent this last year with mom living at my house. How I regret now the times I grumbled and complained. The countless conversations we had. We never, EVER seemed to run out of things to talk about, the times we laughed so hard she could barely contain herself, the many, many, meals we ate together, the shows we watched and hashed together on TV, the days of shopping ~ each of us in our electric carts laughing hysterically when the other banged into something, her head coming around the corner of the living room on her little walker saying “Good morning!” so cheerfully, the sound of her snoring softly while she napped in her green chair, and the way she always said, “love you” before she headed off to bed, will be forever etched into my memory. But one conversation we had over and over again brings me the most comfort of all today. She was ready. She was longing to see Jesus and Joe and her parents and her sister. She loved being here with all of us of course, but she longed to be in heaven as well. Her body was failing her and she found it so frustrating and overwhelming sometimes, though she NEVER gave up, ALWAYS did her best, and fought the good fight to the end. I LOVE that she has a perfect body now and is in the presence of our Savior and laughing and dancing again with Joe. I know she waits for us all there, and when I see her again, my heart will be so glad, and the conversations will once again flow. And in the meantime, I have a million sweet memories of her that I will carry forever in my heart, and will draw from and remember and linger over always. Love you too mom!
|MOM'S 6 CHILDREN FROM LEFT TO RIGHT...DEAN, DAVID, ME, DONNA, DIANE AND DANAE|
And finally, here is a copy of the biography that was on the back of mom's program at the church. It is brief, but tells some of the main things.
Greta Lou Hall was born on August 9th, 1932 in York, Nebraska to Lewis and Nellie Berneec Geis. She was the oldest of three girls. Her sister’s names were Carolyn and Dorothy. She grew up on a small farm, and when she entered high school she went to live at the local convent. After graduation she worked for a while at the phone company as an operator. She met and married Albert L. Merrick at the age of 19, and together they had six children; Diane, Debbie, David, Danae, Dean and Donna. After the birth of their first three children, in the late 1950’s, they moved to So. California.
Greta spent the majority of her life as the perfect homemaker. She kept her house immaculately clean, cooked wonderful meals for her large family, participated in car pools, sports events and school activities, as well as teaching CCD at her local parish. She loved to sew, and she kept beautiful roses. She was always busy. They owned a cabin in the local Big Bear Mountains, and many family week-ends and holidays were spent enjoying that.
After the death of her first husband in 1980, Greta met and married Joseph Hall. He had two wonderful daughters, Barbara and Patricia, and together they now had 8 children. With all of her children grown and gone, Greta worked for several years at an insurance company called Factory Mutual as a general office worker. She and Joe had a wonderful relationship, and you could often find them holding hands even years and years after they had married. Between them they had 19 grandchildren; Joseph, John, Michelle, James, Kyle, Crystal, Danny, Melody, Ian, Jessica, Anthony, Robert, Justin, Nathan, Tabatha, Katie, Blake, Sarah and Dean, and 14 great grandchildren; Evan, Annabel, Lindsey, Katelyn, Jackie, Jeff, Capri, JD, Cody, Donatella, Priscilla, Samuel and Jacob and Luke. She was also expecting to add one more to this list this summer. Greta loved her family and most of her free time was spent enjoying them as much as she could.
The last year of Greta’s life was spent, after the death of her beloved husband Joe, living with her daughters Debbie and Danae. She continued to love to spend her time with family, and they all accommodated her as much as they could. She is heaven now, in the presence of her Savior, and reunited with Joe. She will be so missed.
And I am re-posting her slide show here, as it just seems like it belongs with this post, haha!