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.