July 4th, July 5th, July 6th 2014

The 4th of July is a big weekend for the Bruce family every year. My Yankee-Doodle-Dandy sister celebrates her birthday. The extended Bruce family holds a reunion — going strong for 60 some years. Adding a memorial service for my mom, a celebration of her life, and then a mountain top send off made this year’s 4th of July weekend bittersweet.

At the memorial we intoned Mom’s praises, extolled her beauty, and shared remembrances and grief at our great loss. One of my brothers-in-law said it was a wonderful going away party for our mom, oma, Gloria Kubasik Bruce. One grandson led the memorial service, another led the mountain top service, there were songs and hymns performed by grandkids and my husband, and Dad himself sang “All the World Will be Jealous of Me” — a love song sung to our mom throughout their 63 years together. All of my brothers and sisters gave tribute to our mom and several of the in-laws did as well. I wasn’t ready — still not ready. I’ve had since December 17th to get ready. The best I could do at that time was to share my dad’s tribute to Mom. You can read that here — Thanks Dad! I’ll write my tribute to mom. When I’m ready, I’ll write it.

On Sunday we climbed Mount Nittany in State College to carry out Mom’s wish to have her remains scattered from the mountain top as we did 15 years ago for my brother, Rob. Dad made the rugged trek up the steep trail — not bad for nearly 83 years old. We did take a break to rest a time or two…

And when we arrived at the top, husband, children (and in-law children), grandchildren (and in-law grandchildren), after a reflective and responsive service, we scattered Mom’s ashes to the wind while singing…”I’ll fly away.”

I’ll fly away, oh glory, I’ll fly away.
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by…I’ll fly away.
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4 Responses to July 4th, July 5th, July 6th 2014

  1. Sarah Rose says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. That was a sweet way to celebrate your mother. Very sweet….


  2. A beautiful tribute, to someone I am certain was an amazing woman – she helped make you after all. Lovely.


  3. Jean Bruce says:

    I'm sorry I had to leave on Saturday. Didn't get to talk to you much–something I always look forward to. I understand it turned into a fun afternoon. I'm happy for that. I wish I had some words for you that would comfort you in some way. Maybe just knowing how much of your mother I see in you is some consolation. I will never forget Gloria. At the memorial service, when I heard many people say how Gloria always made everyone feel special and welcome, I was thinking, “hey, that's my line!” Just goes to show you how true those words were. She was truly one of a kind. Well, maybe not. Seems lik Gloria cloned her daughters!


  4. Thank you Sarah, Kristine, and dear cousin Jeanie, for your kind words. Knowing others care is a great comfort. Jeanie, it was a big sacrifice for you to come to the service, what with your picnic the next day…and all that entails! But you pulled it off like a champ. The reunion was terrific — sorry you got called to work, but we carried on (really carried on — Surely you heard about the water battles!) Everyone had a fun time. Can't wait to do it again next year. 🙂


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