We’ve all heard the term “Circle of Life” and it’s never so evident as when we welcome a new baby into the family and say goodbye to a senior member all within a short time period. It’s been quite the somber few weeks around our house, but life goes on. Life is still good. Mark lost his dear dog, Holly and then 3 weeks later he lost his Dad, so while we’ve been sad at saying goodbyes, there have also been happy times.
Babies are born and we lose members of our older generation and that’s the definition of Circle of Life. We all experience that in our families, so it’s not news to any of us how this cycle called life works. That’s the way it is here on this earth and we all will go through the good times and bad times with births and deaths. The older that I get the more I realize that life is SO short and it truly seems like it flies faster and faster every decade.
Mom has said to me that she watched her parents get old, as well as her aunts and uncles, then experienced all of them dying off the planet one by one until she realized she and daddy were now the older generation. I see that now too. Mom and dad are the elderly seniors and they will not be with us for all that much longer. Mark and I and all our siblings are the older generation next in line for being elderly. Oh, that’s a sobering thought, isn’t it? No matter my thoughts or feelings, that’s the way it is and as we said goodbye to Mark’s daddy for the last time last week in a celebration of life service at their home and properly here in Georgia, we also said hello for the first time to our new baby, Alexandra Rose. Babies just make things happy and it’s so fun to have a new baby in the family.
So, today I’m sharing all of this. The celebration service, saying goodbye to Mark’s dad, Burton and Lauren’s first visit back home with baby Alex and Iris. It’s been a good week. Sad mixed with happy.
Life in full color.
Saying Goodbye to Pop, Mark’s Daddy
Mark’s Daddy, Burton, was 92 when he passed away. He was doing pretty well until July when all of a sudden he couldn’t walk one morning. We knew there were some issues going on, but nothing had been found until he then went to the hospital, had an MRI and they found a tumor on his spine, numbing his legs so he couldn’t walk. He stayed in the hospital for 3 weeks. We were so hopeful that he would get radiation for the tumor and that he might be able to get rehab and walk again. He went into rehab for 3 weeks, but declined so much during that time that by the time he came home, he was in sad shape. He also had cancer on his kidneys so had numerous issues going on. There just wasn’t enough they could do to get him stronger and back up on his feet and hospice was called in for the last couple of weeks of his life. He died at home on September 28th. The family was very glad he didn’t have to linger and suffer very long. He’s a man who wouldn’t have been happy being bed ridden for the long haul.
This picture above was taken in June before his health began failing. He was still mowing his huge 5 acre property up til then and just like my dad, had been very active all his life. His property was his pride and joy and he loved it, planting a garden, growing muscadines and keeping that pretty green grass cut with a riding lawn mower and tractor. He would have turned 93 October 14th, so that was the day Mark’s mom decided to do his celebration service. It couldn’t have been more perfect at their house and property with most of the immediate family in attendance to say goodbye and remember their Pop who was a huge part of their lives.
These pics were shared and I wanted to share these with you all. Mark’s nephew Ben on the left, his dad, and Mark on the right (moustache in place) I think this was from a beach trip a few years ago. Mark shaved his moustache right before we met. The 11 grandchildren loved their Pop so much and it was very evident. It’s been so fun for me to be part of this big family, since my family is so much smaller. Mark’s mom and dad welcomed me with open arms.
Pop with Rose, Mark’s granddaughter when she was a baby. They have 13 great grand children with 2 more on the way in December. This family definitely has grown.
With Mark’s parents, his two sisters and their children (11) and the great grand children (13), plus spouses, I heard the family will number 40 at the end of the year with the additional 2 babies coming.
One of the grandchildren made this Pop’s Garden sign with all the grand children and great grands names on it, which I thought was such a great idea.
The sun was shining brightly here when I was taking this pic, but there were tables set up outdoors and food was provided by their church for the celebration service. It was so nice and a picture perfect fall day. Those are his muscadine vines behind the table.
Standing in the pasture looking back at the house, you can see how big the property is. He used to have cows out here, but those have been gone a long time. They built this house 40 years ago and you can still see the rolling terraces from when it was farmland decades ago.
The family had a service out here past the barn, with folding chairs and a family preacher friend of theirs officiated the service. It was very sweet and appropriate for celebrating his life.
Mark’s girls and his two sisters’ kids all grew up in this pasture too, playing together and loving it. Now Mark and his sisters see the great grandkids doing the same thing that their kids did, playing til dark in the pasture.
It was a happy sight to see those 13 great grands having a ball in that vast yard. Mark has been keeping the grass cut for his parents since his dad got sick and will continue to do it for the near future. Mark’s mom has decided to wait until Spring before she makes any decisions on when or where to move. She’s not afraid to stay by herself and feels fine being there alone. She’s got a beautiful view to see every day!
They were married for 71 years so I know she misses him greatly, but she’s a strong lady and will be OK.
Mark and his youngest granddaughter, who just turned one.
And the next youngest boy, he’s such a cutie. There is one more on the way in December.
I took this pic after we were all finished eating, the kids were playing in the yard, and the sun was starting to set. It was a beautiful scene.
It was such a beautiful birthday celebration for a man who will be missed, but will always be loved. I’m so glad I was a part of it. The day was perfect and the weather could not have been better.
Saying Hello to Baby Alexandra
Lauren arrived home and stayed for a week so we got plenty of snuggle time with this sweet girl. She was born August 23. As with her two older sisters, Lauren had newborn pics taken at 1 month old so that she will always remember them at this age and stage. Cute, cuddly and the sweetest. We think she favors Iris a lot as a baby.
She doesn’t have quite as much hair as her sisters did, but she definitely has the family resemblance. With Rose as her middle name, you can bet there will be lots of roses in her life.
She’s such a little doll and is a good baby. She sleeps and eats and I never heard her very fussy at all while they were here.
Here are a few pics of the girls holding their baby sister. Lauren says they are really good with her and want to hold her a lot. They will be a big help for their mom. Parker is 6 now and getting so big and grown up.
Iris is 4 and loves being a big sister too.
Lauren and baby Alex at home in New Orleans. She’s such a good mama. The breast feeding didn’t go well, so she is back to pumping and will probably pump for a whole year like she has done previously. She has been working at home all summer and is the top producer in her law firm. She’s taking time off with the baby, but still keeping her hand in her work cases.
Daddy and Iris on their carport after they arrived.
Mom holding Alex for the first time and she gave mom the biggest smile. She is just starting to really smile. So sweet!
This is what she does most of the time, but we all had turns holding her.
Of course, I got my turns too and loved snuggling this little girl. She’s just precious.
Iris playing on the porch.
Mom feeding her.
She’s a cutie pie.
We had Rose one day and brought her with us over to my parents so she could play with Iris. They had fun playing with Mark and the boy next door. It was a fun day! Mark was playing tag with them. Rose is 3 and Iris is 4.
Renee got pumpkins so she and Iris could make crafts together.
She saw this on the cover of Better Homes and Garden so they tried it out. Lauren is taking them home for her front porch. Not Fall colors, but happy colors. It’s tissue paper and Mod Podge.
One last day of baby holding before they went home.
She’s so cute, we all could just eat her up! You have to savor the baby moments while you have them, since these babies grow up so fast. I can’t believe how big her sisters are getting.
I hope you all enjoyed this family update. It’s bittersweet moments like this that make us grateful and thankful for family and all that we have. Life is so short and we must savor and celebrate all the moments, good and bad and that’s what we did last week.
Celebration of a life well lived and celebration of a brand new life just beginning. We are thankful for them both!
So sorry that Mark’s father passed.
Enjoyed the pics. of the little precious one and your family.
You are so right about life passing quickly. Especially this past year.
Thanks for sharing!
Very poignant. Very beautiful. Precious moments, all. And a rare privilege as well….a cherished family.
Susan Fox says
Rhoda, What a touching family story. Your wonderful family….it brings to mind the song, “Sunrise-Sunset.” (“One season following another….”)…Lovely photos of the new baby…and the photos of Mark’s parents’ property, as the sun sets.
Jeanie Nichols says
So sorry for your loss. It looks like he was blessed with a wonderful family, what a legacy to leave behind. Congratulations on the new grandchild. What joy they bring into our lives.
Sympathy to Mark’s family in the loss of his Dad. Also, it’s hard when we lose our pets, they leave paw prints on our hearts. So happy for Lauren and her new baby, she is so beautiful. Babies make older siblings look so big.