Saturday, May 31, 2008

Remembering and Celebrating

Today was both sad and happy. This morning was the memorial service for John Alley. It was really good. There was a wonderful combination of spiritual, military, remembering, laughing, crying, etc. Anton was asked to sing with a couple of guys and I accompanied them on the piano. They sang Where Can I Turn For Peace. I was so incredibly nervous to play. I'm not that good of a pianist. I have never gotten so nervous that I felt like throwing up, until today. There were so many people there. But the guys sang great, and I managed to get through the song without messing it up.

It was great to hear people remembering things about John. His brother talked about past experiences, and our friend Andre talked about the kind of person he was. The CO promoted him to First Lieutenant and gave him his wings. At the end we all went outside and they lowered the flag to half mast and there was a fly-over that did the missing man formation. It was excellent. I can't think of a better way to send off a loved one. Of course, we all wish we weren't having to send him off, but it couldn't have been done better.

The actual funeral is on Friday in Utah.

In order to give Emily a happier memory from today, a few girls got together to throw her a baby shower. I got to make the cake for it. She found out the other day that she is having a boy. She's so glad because she will now have a little John Jr. I was glad too because I had the best idea for a boy cake. Here it is:

It didn't turn out exactly like I wanted, but well enough. It had a boat, a train,

a tractor, a plane,

a truck, and a car. They were really hard to cut out and keep looking decent. Won't be doing that again.

The shower was lots of fun. Emily cleaned house in the gift department:

She got gifts from everyone from the high school Honor Society to random people's neighbors. She won't need to buy a single thing for that kid.

There's the mommy-to-be practicing her baby skills.

We were all getting good laughs from Emily's ignorance of baby products. Being a first-time mom, you don't always know what everything is for, and there are a lot of fancy products out there.

Here here mom and sister are having a good laugh because Emily asked if you were supposed to put the baby into the basket at her feet. It was all good fun, and we all learned new things about baby paraphernalia.

Emily also got a fabulous diaper cake loaded to the hilt with all sorts of goodies:

Very cool. We all chatted and ate cake and had a great time celebrating the forthcoming John Jr.

So while we had to send off one dear friend today, we got to welcome a new one. It was a day of sadness and joy. John will be dearly missed, but we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Baby John, as Ella is already calling him.


Amy said...

Thank you for posting the pictures of the baby shower. It is always great to have something to rejoice in, in the midst of the sorrow. I was sorry to hear on the news that John had been found, but not alive. It sounds like he was a great guy. We are thinking of you and his family.

Jamie & Brian said...

What a great baby shower! I can't imagine how difficult this whole time must be for Emily, but I hope she does well in life and with her new baby when he is born.

Andrea said...

It sounds like the day ended on an "up" note. It must be so exciting and so sad to be having John Jr. I am glad the service for John went great! I am sure you played the piano great! I love her diaper cake. That is cool. I love the baby cake you made. So very cute!! I love it!! You are so good at those cakes. I can't wait to see the next one!!

The Galan Family said...

Wow, what an amazing thing to be a part of. She seems like such a strong person. I have been following this story since we got Anton's email. Glad she has such a great support system. Your cake was adorable Amanda. You are so talented.

merrillohana said...

WHat a good friend you are! What a challenge to be going through also. I can't imagine, but I am glad she will have a great reminder and souvenir of John in October.

Harmony said...

This is amazing! I've been thinking about her all week and how hard this must be. You guys are amazing to do this for her--and what an awesome cake too!

pilotboywa said...

Emily is really lucky to have a great friend like you.

Jill May said...

I'm so glad that you guys were able to throw Emily a shower. I wish I could have been there - looks like she made out like a bandit! We miss all of you!


The Bays said...

So sad and sweet at the same time. I can't imagine what she is going through but it sounds like she is being taken care of. Good job at that Amanda.