Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Art of Saying Goodbye: A Spring Trip to Michigan

May 16 - 22, 2016
Royal Oak, Beverly Hills, Clarkston, and surrounding areas, MI

Scott's grandparents, Buzz & Sylvia, taken at the Palmer House hotel on their honeymoon in Chicago

The first half of 2016 has been a challenging time, to put it mildly, for the Brooks Family.  In early February, we said a tearful goodbye to Scott's dad, Jerry.  He was taken from us quite unexpectedly and far too soon.  It is hard to reconcile his vibrancy and youthful enthusiasm with the fact that he is no longer among us.  The loss of his outgoing and joyful personality was felt and mourned by many.  

Just two-and-a-half short months later, Scott's grandfather, Buzz, at the ripe age of 89, left this world as well.  With barely a chance to catch her breath, Scott's mom, Denise, mourned the loss, not only of her husband of 45 years, but also of her beloved father.  His larger-than-life personalty and hallmark sense of humor will definitely be missed!

There have been several trips back and forth to Michigan for us this past winter and spring, as we have grieved the loss of these beloved family members and Scott has assisted and supported his mom through the bereavement process.  This past weekend, we said our final farewells to both Jerry and Grandpa Buzz.  On Friday, Denise and her brother Larry hosted a warm and touching Celebration of Life ceremony in the form of a tribute luncheon, as requested by Buzz in his last wishes, at the Clawson Steakhouse.  Denise gave a wonderfully heartfelt and humorous eulogy for her dad that I know he would have loved.  Larry followed with a nice eulogy of his own and Scott and Jerry's brother, Roger, both shared funny and warm-hearted memories of Buzz.  

The beautiful commemorative bookmarks (front - left and back - right) that Scott's mom created for the tribute luncheon in honor of Scott's grandpa

On Saturday morning, we laid Jerry's ashes in their final resting place in a beautiful and tranquil spot in a cemetery not far from Denise's home.  I just know Jerry would approve.

RIP, Jerry. Y
Although Scott had to be in Florida for a work conference earlier in the week, I used this opportunity to spend the entire week in Michigan, visiting my family.  Staying at my mom and stepdad's house until Thursday afternoon, I enjoyed spending some quality time with my mom, walking, talking and outlet shopping with her as well as lunching with her, my sister and my 4-year-old niece.  

Scott, his Uncle Roger and Roger's wife Margo all arrived at Denise's house on Thursday, where I joined them for the remainder of the visit.  Despite the sad occasion, it was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with them and various other Brooks family members as well.

The entire week was filled with wonderful and rewarding family bonding moments with both sides of our family and for that I am extremely grateful.  It will be really great to have a happy reason to visit family in Michigan and I am definitely looking forward the the Bosch family reunion with my family in Muskegon that is coming up this July!

More Photos:
Kate and my mom, Jane, enjoying some playtime (Grammy brought a slinky!!!) at the Moose Preserve 
It was juuuussst warm enough to have lunch on the patio at the Moose. Outdoor dining = happy twins.
Kate loves lunching with the grown-up ladies!
After lunch at the Moose Preserve, we went to nearby Riverside Park to play in the sunshine
Grammy loves the park!!
Three generations of Bosch: ladies who lunch...and go to the park!
I love spending time with my sister!  Relaxing on a bench at Riverside Park
The gorgeous Red Bud tree in my parents' front yard was in full bloom during my visit!  I had never seen it flowering before so this was a real treat. The whole neighborhood was in bloom, making daily walks with my mom especially pleasant. 
Enjoying the late afternoon sunshine beneath the Red Bud tree
Chillin' on a Friday evening with these cool cats, cousin Don and his daughter Marylin, at Denise's house 
Badminton, anyone?
Making use of the many fun "props" at Jen's house
After I took a selfie with Kate, she decided she wanted to take her own selfies!
Photos by Kate - a Budding Selfie Artist:
"The Eyes"
"The Tongues"

The Many Faces of Kate: A Series of Selfies

Meanwhile, back at the party... 
On the last night of our visit, Jen and Ivan hosted a wonderful family BBQ. Here, Jen and Scott watch Jen's unintentionally hilarious video of Christopher face-planting during his Ninja Warriors Training class. Oops! 
Rada and me, surveying the scene below on the golf course from Jen and Ivan's spacious deck. Typical Christopher, with his iPad
Who doesn't love S'mores???  Ivan made S'mores for all the neighborhood kids. He is understandably quite popular.
Jen and I played a rousing game of badminton on the lawn
The way I play badminton, it's a wonder I didn't pull a muscle!  Kudos to Bill for his great action shots from his vantage point on the deck!
A Boy and His Aunt
Christopher and his Uncle Scott are so silly!
Hmmmm, looks like I need to go to selfie school... Good thing I'll have a chance for a do-over on the family selfie in July!

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