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Beautiful Closure Part 1

Last weekend my brother and I, along with our spouses and extended family members, spent the weekend visiting meaningful locations around Northeast Ohio where we grew up. The weekend was emotional, touching, and very meaningful to both of us and our families. 

We visited the cemetery in Akron, Ohio, where my parents buried their two baby girls who were born before both my brother and me. It took more than 30 minutes of looking because the tiny head stones were overgrown with grass, but we finally found the places where our baby sisters were laid to rest so many years ago.

We sprinkled some of my parent’s ashes on both of the grave stones, which were no bigger than postcards. We think our folks would have loved this gesture.

Their first little girl was stillborn and never drew a breath so she was not named.

The second little girl was born but only lived twenty one hours. She was named Nina Lynn. I can hardly begin to imagine what my Mom and Dad went through losing two tiny babies. It seems unthinkable. They were both incredibly strong individuals.

My big brother, Bob, and me at our sisters’ grave sites.

Cheri, Bob, Kent and me.

After visiting the cemetery, we drove up to North Hill in Akron where my parents built their first little home on Hilltop. They were so proud of this cute little home; it was always special to them.

From Akron, we visited Barberton, Ohio where my Mother lived when she and my father met. They were married in a tiny ceremony in this church on August 2, 1946.

After visiting Mom and Pop’s old “haunts,” we went for a traditional, Barberton chicken dinner at Belgrade Gardens. Mom and Dad went here many times over the years and they loved it.

Norman and Norma Maynard, Cheri’s parents who were dear friends of my family, came with us and it made the weekend so much more special.

We had the opportunity to visit the house in Canal Fulton on High Street where I grew up. It is currently unoccupied and undergoing some renovations, which is probably a good thing. It is over 50 years old! Interesting to note, there was a small room over the garage that was once a bedroom but became the room where I learned to sew beginning when I was seven years old.

Since the home was empty, Kent and I walked around the property. It was surprising to me that the patio my brother and Dad laid themselves, brick by brick, was still in tact.

This enormous oak tree in the back yard was only a seedling when my Dad planted it in 1966 or 1967. I actually remember the day he planted it and to see how unbelievably tall it is now was very emotional.

We spent the afternoon visiting with some very dear friends from our time growing up in Canal Fulton. From left to right, top row, Jack Downs, Norman Maynard, Ken Downs, Bob Wallace. Front row, l to r: myself, Helen Knapp, Norma Maynard, Edna Mae Lorenz, Mary Downs, Cheri Wallace.

Sunday evening closed with a spectacular sunset. It was a blessed weekend.

 

 

 

12 Comments
  1. Beautiful pictures, Kimberly. Walking in the past is always emotional and endearing.
    Kathye

  2. I love stories like this, thank you for sharing.

  3. Wow, this is quite a story! Thank you for sharing. What a special time for you and your brother!

  4. A special weekend indeed. Having come from a severely dysfunctional family, I’ve always been envious of other people’s family dynamic. You’ve definitely grown up well.

  5. I am so thrilled and honored that you chose to share this special family journey with all of us. Thank you.

  6. Thanks for sharing. It was quite a memory trip. I was so honored to share a part of it.

  7. Love you! Wonderful blog. Will be adding it to the family history!

  8. Dear Kimberlee,

    Thank you for sharing your trip with us…..So glad you had these moments with your brother and spouses (and friends)……
    Makes me sad I never can do such a trip ……..my fam. fell apart (totally), after the passing from my parents…..
    But I’m happy for you and wish you many good years together as a family……(you can make it a special event every 1-5 year………)

    Diane

    • Diane — Families are tricky; I speak from experience. And what I’ve learned is that NO family — anywhere — is perfect. I think every family has some sort of dysfunction (including ours) I am very sorry that your family fell apart after your parents’ passing and truly, I commiserate with you. I’ve learned to let go, and simply let God. I’ll honor my family as best I can and leave the rest to Him.

  9. Loved your post. I know it was a hard weekend, but what a wonderful thing to do for your parents. It is always so good to connect with family and friends.

  10. Loved this story. It’s always fun to go back “home” and look around. Like you, my husband was in the service for 30 years, so trips back home take on a different meaning after having been away for soooooo long. Our visits while he was on active duty weren’t very frequent.

  11. What a special and loving weekend you had. Thank you for sharing it.

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Wherever I go, I am asked about the exquisite machine quilting on my quilts. I’m happy to share with you that most of my quilts have been expertly quilted by the internationally award winning quilt artist, Birgit Schüller! Read more