* Walking around the cemetary early in the afternoon, waiting for more of the family to show up, I watched the blooming cherry blossoms and the airborne creatures -- the flies and a butterfly -- and appreciated the almost-spring almost-warmth. It was a gentle way to start getting into the right head-space for the day. (And, you won't be surprised to hear, I think that at the time I was a little worked up over something I didn't need to be worked up over. Oh, well. And no, I'm not going to explain that further.) It's a cliche because it's true: the world has many ways of reminding you that life goes on, all over the place. To have a memorial on a day when the world's coming back to life: that's a good time to have it.
* We were very lucky to find caretakers for Bob and Dorothy back in the late '90s who became friends as well as caretakers. Bob and Dorothy lived in a house in Far SE Portland (after a transition period with other care places that turned out to be bad, so we got them out of there quickly). One of their caretakers, Eliza, attended the memorial. She spoke, and spoke well; she also got mentioned more than once by people giving thanks for the work she did.
It boggles my mind, the need to be there 24 hours a day for people who are likely to need help at any time...and Eliza and her family do that for several people at a time. And do it wonderfully well. We're blessed to know her and her family. Dorothy and Bob liked them, too.
* You should know this: Dorothy was always a good eater. My family figures one of the reasons she liked Birgitte, my cousin Rob's Danish wife, is that she could match her in eating well and not ballooning. In the last few years of her and Bob living in their NE Portland home, Dorothy cooked plenty of food for Birgitte whenever she visited. Dorothy had a habit of offering dessert right after dinner, mainly so we could then get the dishes cleaned and out of the way; most of us, even me, usually took convincing. Birgitte had no problem with it.
* Eloisa -- the 5-month-old who we think kind of looks like Grandma -- was great, very well-behaved and calm and welcoming during all of the events, though of course she was tired by the end of the family dinner. No drama involving her, I'd say...just us fussing over her and enjoying her. Cute kid. And she has good parents. Dorothy never got to meet Eloisa, as I understand it, but Dorothy did get plenty of visiting time with the baby of her caretaker family. So that baby was kind of a great-grandkid by proxy.
* As a gift to people, a former church colleague of hers brought copies, on 4x6 cards, of Dorothy's recipe for Lemon Jello Cake. Many, many people have had this, and love it, including everyone in my family. It's a sweetly tart creation -- Dorothy had a sweet tooth -- that she brought so often to church events that people complained, only half-jokingly, the times she didn't bring it. The recipe combines eggs, lemon Jell-O mix, yellow cake mix, lemon juice, and powdered sugar. It's not the fanciest-looking cake, not by a long shot, but it's tasty; as I said Saturday, "It may not look like much, but it's got it where it counts." (We also believe it tastes better the next day.) Mom, who's made many of these cakes in her life (including two last weekend), was glad to get the card. "I'm going to laminate it," she said.