We just got back from a weekend out in Denver. We had planned this one since January. My Dad's 80th birthday was April 15, and pretty much the entire family (and many extended family) converged on Denver for the weekend to celebrate.
It was a great tribute to Dad and a great time to connect with so many in our family. On Saturday afternoon, we traveled up to Boulder to the cemetery where my Grandparents and Great Grandparents are buried in a family plot. It was cool to hear my Dad and his cousins share family history and to connect all the proverbial dots on the family tree. Saturday evening, about 30 of us converged on a local restaurant and had a great evening celebrating Dad. In true Carey family fashion, my Dad gave a speech and shared his heart of gratitude for his family, friends and country. I'm proud to call myself his son and am grateful for the influence he's had on me... especially teaching me work ethic, patriotism, and what it means to grant grace and true forgiveness.
A good portion of the rest of our time in Denver was spent with our dear friends the Babbs. They threw a party for us on Sunday night and invited some other great friends of ours that live in the area. It was just cool to connect with others that are in very similar life stages with us. We were reminded how blessed we are with great friends.
Monday morning... the Denver Zoo with Sarah, Monica and all the kids. Peter loved all the animals and getting to run around with all his friends. It's a cool zoo with tons to see. Definitely worth more than the small price you pay to get in... and we got free passes!
Monday afternoon turned out to be quite special. My sister, who lives in Denver, gave birth to her ninth child on Sunday night. Amy Katherine was born at 9:45pm, was 9 lbs 4 oz, 21" long and is beautiful! Of all nine births, this was the first time I got to see one of her newborns in the hospital. Was a blessing for April, Peter and I to spend some quality time with Cindy and Amy.
We finally made it back to Fresno last night around 11pm after a 45 minute delay due to no flight attendant and drunk guys in the exit row. Peter also made himself known to pretty much everyone on the plane for the first half of the flight. Now it can be confirmed... we are the family that people dread when they get on the plane. Oh well, I wouldn't trade it for anything!
All in all it was an okay trip. There were a couple of days that were pretty tough on us. Lots of wishing that our little girl was with us, and often people just not knowing what to say around us. At the same time, we were blessed by some people that really did know what to say, and they spoke words of life and grace into us.
As soon as I figure out the right words, I'm going to do a post on the things people say or don't say to people going through major grief. We have really learned a lot in the last two months about the process and how people want and need to be treated as they go through it.