Connor with Abigail, Hillary ("Buddy"), and Suzanna
Later in the afternoon, Susan's cousin Robbie graduated from the parochial high school, and we went to his open house afterward. His parents just completed a remodeling project at their house, and the new kitchen and sunroom look great. Also, his mom laid out an impressive spread of food for everybody to eat; there was about ten times more food than needed, and that's exactly the approach that I'm used to from my upbringing--providing a huge feast for family get-togethers in the home (e.g., confirmations, graduations, birthday or anniversary parties, etc.). It was great to eat all the wonderful food and visit with relatives and play with all the little kids running around the house and yard.
Robbie with Abigail, Hillary, and Suzanna
Robbie with his proud parents, Terry (Susan's mom's brother) and Audrey
Terry and Audrey with their family: daughter Christie (behind Terry) and sons Brian (in the white), Michael (in the green), and Robbie (in the black). Christy and her husband Cody (behind Michael) have two kids: Matthew (behind Audrey) and Kate (in Christy's arms). Michael and his wife Lindsey (holding Matthew) have two kids: Cadence (in Michael's arms) and Madison (in Audrey's arms). Got that?!
We have planned a trip to the Tioga/McGregor/Battleview, ND area tomorrow to visit family members' graves for Memorial Day. Since we won't be here tomorrow, we made an early Memorial Day visit today to some of Susan's family members' graves here in town.
Abigail, Susan, Hillary, and Suzanna at the grave of Susan's mom Sue, who died 11 years ago. It wasn't easy for Susan to place flowers on her mom's grave and then go to a gathering of her mom's siblings and their extended family, imagining what it would be like to have her mom there.
Susan's maternal grandparents are buried in the same cemetery, so we visited their grave, too, and Susan shared fond memories of them (and of her mom) with the girls as we walked around and admired the pretty headstones and flowers. As Suzanna pointed out, cemeteries aren't really for the dead; they are for the living so that we can remember our departed loved ones, pay our respects, and recall stories about them to keep them "alive" in our minds and hearts. Wise young girl.