Jake's grandmother, Marion Ellinger, passed away on March 18th in Sacramento, CA. We drove to Northern California to hold a memorial service for her with Jake's sisters Kathleen and Kristin. Since it was snowing heavily in the Sierra Nevadas and Donner Pass was closed, we opted to drive to Las Vegas, then over to Bakersfield, and then up to Sacramento. We were fortunate that we were able to stay at Jake's Uncle Tom's home in St. Helena.
We arrived in St. Helena on Sunday evening. The following day we drove to Sacramento to meet Sheena and Maryn at the Nut Tree. We were disappointed that the rides were not open yet for the season, but the kids still had a good time playing with each other on the wooden horses, the teeter-totter, and the merry-go-round. I am so grateful that my kids have cousins so close to their ages that they can play with!
On Tuesday morning we held the memorial service at the LDS branch chapel in St. Helena. What a beautiful spirit we felt. Jake's dad, Bruce, gave a wonderful history on his mother. Kathleen and Sheena sang a duet, Jake gave a talk for the children on what happens to our spirit after we die, I played a piano solo, and Kristin helped the children sing "I Am a Child of God". Libby, Mallory, Elisabeth, Nathan and Maryn sounded WONDERFUL! I think grandma would have been very proud of their little voices that sang with such conviction. Even Nathan tried to sing some of the words and to be somewhat reverent. We also gave a memory of grandma and talked about her for a little while.
I wished that we could have stayed a couple of days to enjoy being together as a family, but alas, with the snow clouds looming we drove home after the luncheon for the funeral. It was much better to drive home on I-80 than the detour we took to get there!
I know that Grandma was not LDS, but her character and convictions in life helped to shape many other's lives. Her choices brought about many grandchildren and great-grandchilren who are pretty special people. We will miss her dearly.
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