Hi friends…I’m back. Mostly. For the past month or so, I’ve felt really burned out between my photography schedule, the kids’ modeling, school, and all sorts of other odds and ends thrown in between, and the busy cherry blossom season in Korea sort of did me in. I needed a break, so I took it. Admittedly, I’d only planned on taking a week off blogging, but life threw us a curveball or two, and here we are, weeks later. For those of you whole follow me on instagram, you likely saw that we ended up taking an unexpected trip back to the US last week. Two weeks ago, we received the devasting phone call that Grandma Esta, Ryan’s mother, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.
In the span of five days, the Army secured us tickets to Utah, we snagged a rental car, we quickly ensured all our Covid docs and Korean requirements were in order, and we were on a plane by Friday, April 30th. Since we traveled back in time, we arrived in Utah Friday afternoon, and we made the drive from Salt Lake City to Cedar City, Utah, where Grandma Esta and Papa (Dave) live.
Before we moved to South Korea last year, we knew there was a possibility that we could lose family whilst overseas, but in the long line of those who could pass away, not one of us even considered that Grandma Esta would leave us so soon. This time last year, our family was heading out on a road trip to see them, and I’m still broken-hearted that that was the last time we saw Grandma in person.
Esta, my mother-in-law, was a force. She had this infectious personality, a huge laugh, a mischievous sense of humor and, most of all, she gave me my husband. From the first moment that I met her (the night Ryan and I got engaged), she made me feel like family, and I’m eternally grateful to have called her my mother in law. In our faith, we believe that families are eternal, and I’m comforted by the fact that we’ll see her again someday, as well as the fact that she’s at peace and no longer lives with the debilitating pain she bore for so long.
Though this was not the reason we’d hoped to return to the USA so soon, I’m grateful we had the opportunity to be with Papa and to say our farewells to Grandma Esta in person. The memorial service was beautiful, and it was such a testament to how loved she was – and is. I don’t know when it will sink in that we wont be seeing Grandma again anytime soon, but I’m grateful for our Army family rallying around us here, for the many people who loved Esta contributing and helping Papa in this time of great change, and for the chance to have spent this difficult time with family.
Grandma Esta, we love you. We still pray for you and Papa every night, and we look forward to the day we can hug you in person again.