The Berry Family picture - with Grandma Delma - taken last Christmas eve down in San Diego - we were visiting my brother Brian's family a month before departing to Africa
This is Alisha – I just wanted to share a story with you...
When we left the States in January,my Grandma Delma (a dear sweet lady and one of my best friends), accompanied us to the airport with my parents. As I said goodbye I gave her a kiss, and had the sad thought, “God please let this not be the last time I see Grandma.” She handed me a $20.00 bill and said, “You go in and buy yourself some ice cream” (she and I both love ice cream!). Seven months later, on September 2nd, Grandma passed away in the hospital in her sleep (she would have turned 86 this December). It was a bit of a shock for me, since I was still holding on to the hope that she would pull through after having had pneumonia and a ‘silent heart attack’.

Grandma performing her annual job - wrapping up the used Christmas ribbon for re-use the following year.

This past Saturday, October 3rd, my parents had about twenty friends and family over to their house for a celebration in honor of Grandma and the legacy of servanthood she left. It was a hard day for me - I really wished I could just be home to be a part of the gathering. That evening, as the celebration was starting, I called home to send my love and support to the family, hoping to Skype for a couple of minutes and share a few memories about Grandma. A few minutes later I connected with my brother Brian on Skype, placing me, through his computer, amongst the circle of family and friends gathering in my parents’ living room. At the time, Brad and Dani had gone to watch a soccer match. It turned out that I was essentially part of the celebration. I never expected the Skype connection to stay on, the power to last, or to be able to listen to everyone’s thoughts and stories of how Grandma had impacted their lives. It was truly amazing.

The boys and neighbor/friend Julia, hanging out on the porch with two little kittens who found their way into our compound. Brad's sworn "policy" of no pets while in Africa won out though, so we drove them across town to a USPCA office (this is the second time here that we've rescued kittens and taken them to the USPCA)

The boys, watching a movie with Dani

As I began sharing my thoughts with the group, it was hard for me to hold it together. Partly because I was missing my grandma, and partly because I felt so blessed that I was at a special event that I thought I would have to miss out on. I felt even more blessed when Brad came home just in time to share his memories of Grandma too. God’s timing is perfect. To all those who were at my mom and dad’s house on Saturday, it was so awesome to be with you all. We miss you so much, but were so grateful to get to see and talk with you. And thank you,God, for Skype. How fortunate we are to be having this experience in Africa at a time when Skyping, and phone calls, and emails are all possible. We worship an amazing God.

By the way, this blog was started to celebrate my Grandma's life.

Brad and Jonah with his parents' dog Niner, who also died, on Sept. 26 after nearly 14 years in our family. She was a big part of the family and will always be missed. She was also a good friend and mentor to our Moses dog (our Saint Bernard who died 2 years ago).

Brad searching for mosquito's in Brodie and Dani's room. The racket-looking thing is a 'zapper' that shocks insects to death (and burns them if you keep pressing the button, leaving a terrible smoky smell...all to the delight of the boys. Gross!) The boys are the 'spotters' - Brad won't let them use the zapper since it's apparently quite a bit stronger than zappers back in the states.


Traci Morrow said…
I love when you blog, Lish. :)

I can hear your voice in your writings. :) Even your little chuckle as you say how gross the boys are for loving the "zzzap!" as the bug dies. Which, by the way, is my favorite photo! :) I can just SEE the boys' eyes all lit up in anticipation, with Brodie moving his hands with a big smile, Jonah asking one million questions or giving one million observations (hahaha) and Graysen whispering a little to himself - and who knows what he's saying? Probably quoting Mrs. Wishy Washy. :) heeeee

Great way to honor your Grandma and even little Niner. :)

:) Love your guts!!!! :)
Aunt Ta
5Crawfords said…
Thanks Aunt Ta! Actually, after each zap, Graysen says with much umph, "Good job Dad, High Five!"
And a couple of nights ago while Graysen was showering, I asked him if he had fun zapping the mosquitos with Dad and he said, "Dad is the best killer I've NEVER seen." Gotta love it. What a compliment! Hee!

:) Love your guts!!! Too!!! :)
Lish :)
Traci Morrow said…

Does he still say "Umpt....umpt..." while he's trying to gather his thoughts?

Probably not, but that was my fav. :)

Even today...when Joey or someone asks me something and I say "I dont know either...." Joey; no matter WHAT he's doing, will say "Bird poop! Graysen say that Mom." :)

Traci Morrow said…
PS I think I have proven myself to not be a blasphemer or filthy talker - why must I be moderated??

:) Justa kidding.
lazrus2 said…
You truly are blessed to have the technology available for 'being with' your family during this time.

Nick's grandma also died while we were in Niger and because even the phone service was difficult, he got the news by telegram =}. It was totally unexpected, so really hard on him. He did manage to call his folks to get the details and make 'connection' of sorts.

Also, please know your posts are being read even when there are few or no comments. I know it's easy to wonder if anyone is even interested in what you're doing anymore now that the newness of the 'adventure' has worn off.

I know your family keeps in close touch via Skype, etc. and that is a huge encouragement, I'm sure.

Love and blessings,
Dana Lazzareschi

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