Sunday, July 20, 2014

Celebrate Life

This has been a whirlwind trip to the Jerz. Eric and I got in last Friday night, July 11th. It was so good to see our parents and drink NUGGET NECTAR! The trip has been very busy for both of us, with Eric working from home and me doing all sorts of wedding things. I had a nice day with Sunny at Longwood and we messed around with my makeup for the wedding, did some planning and discussing with my parents, talked about the ceremony with our very professional officiant Father Chris, applied for our marriage license, and got my hair highlighted and cut two inches off because it was too long to be held securely in an updo hahaha. So much stuff.

But most importantly, we spent as much time as possible with our family and friends. On Friday night, Eric's grandfather passed away. We are really sad, but I am so glad we were able to be there with him and our family if this had to happen.

I grew up not knowing most of my grandparents. My grandpop passed away when my dad was a teenager, and my pop pop and mom mom passed away when I was very young. My grandmom passed away only a few years ago after a long battle with Alzheimer's. I have the best memories of all my grandparents, like playing crazy 8s with my mom mom, my pop pop always giving me tic tacs, and watching my grandmom prepare delicious food while she told me about her life in Italy. But I still wonder what it would have been like if my mom's parents had lived to see me now, if I had met my grandpop, if my grandmom hadn't had Alzheimer's.

When I started dating Eric, I saw what it was like to have grandparents. Now that we have been together for almost five (woah...) years, I feel what it is like to have grandparents as an adult. It is the best. They have all made me feel so loved and welcomed me in to their family.

Eric's grandpop Mazz was one of the best people I have ever met, and I'm 99.9% sure every single person who met him says the same thing. He genuinely cared about helping everybody he knew. He was in the counseling field for so many years. Even my mom remembered him from when she was in high school and he worked for the guidance department (I won't say how many years ago that was for my mom's sake ;) ). When I was going through grad school and struggling to find a good counseling job after I graduated, he went out of his way to let me know of any job openings he heard about, gave me contact names, told me about different organizations. He would tell me about his experiences as a counselor, how he dealt with things, how he handled it professionally and personally. He was the only adult I knew who understood what I was going through and had the experience to back up his advice. And no matter what was going on with him, he asked me every time he saw me how the counseling stuff was going.

I hope he knows how much he has affected the people he has met. He is somebody I will always look up to and see as an inspiration, not just because he was Eric's grandfather, but because he made everyone, including me, feel like they had the strength to keep going in the face of adversity. His life is definitely one to be celebrated.

My bridal shower was still held on Saturday, which was difficult, but it turned out so nice. My mom, family, and friends worked so hard to make the afternoon a good time for everyone. It was probably the best thing at the time, to be surrounded by family and friends and keep in mind that we have a lot to look forward to. I still can not believe how many people were there. I don't like being in the spotlight, and I don't feel like I deserve any attention at all. But what DOES deserve the attention is the fact that I clearly have the best family and friends ever. So supportive and kind and generous. Eric and I are grateful that we have such amazing family and friends. We love you guys. The whole reason we are doing all this is because we want to celebrate with YOU. The day was the better than I ever could have hoped.

So, Eric and I are now staying in NJ for another week. We're gonna spend as much time with family and friends as possible, and continue to celebrate life <3

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