But now back to our trip report. On Saturday, we got up early (for a Saturday, and extra early considering we were on the East Coast while our internal clocks were still on West Coast time (but that's okay, because we could hardly sleep anyway)) and headed over to the church to practice our song some more. Our stepmother had set up a big display in the foyer that basically chronicled Dad's life, including a video with footage of him as Cosmo the Cougar (the BYU mascot) from back in the day.
The service was nice. A bunch of people got up and said nice things about Dad. Our song went pretty well, and we got a lot of compliments. There were a lot of tears, but I think ours were for different reasons than many of the other people there. One of our uncles got up and told a fun story about how when they were kids, Dad went on a trip to Wyoming, and when he came back, he told our uncle that there was a suitcase upstairs and anything with a fuse on it was now his (our uncle's, not Dad's). Fireworks were legal in Wyoming but not Utah, so our uncle and his cousin had a lot of fun and almost got arrested.
The last person to get up and talk was our stepsister, who told a story about what a good dad he was to her, and that was a little difficult for me. Not that I don't think she deserved to have a good father figure; she seems like a lovely person. Basically everyone local who said anything reminded us that Dad went off and found himself a happy life after rejecting us. It's pretty hard not to take that as a loud announcement that you're not wanted. Or at least not worth it. I mean, he didn't reject us completely--he did call for our birthdays, and to make sure we were okay when, for example, the whole state was on fire or there was a big earthquake. But I'm still vulnerable to the human weakness of focusing on the negative.
Still (and I hope you'll forgive me for waxing religious), I know that Dad is a child of God just like I am, and God loves him and wants him to be happy, too. And that's why the Atonement is so important, because there are so many situations where one person's happiness means another person gets hurt. (Of course, if Dad had stayed and the situation didn't improve, everyone would have been hurt, so there's that, too.) But Jesus suffered the pain of all humankind so that justice could be met (I think in this sense, justice is like, "I got hurt, and someone needs to get hurt just like I did!"), and so it could all be made right in the end. I'm not sure I'm explaining it very well, but it makes sense to me, and that's the important part.
After the memorial, there was a luncheon with surprisingly good everything. Croissants (they were for sandwiches, but Athena and I ate them plain), cookies...okay, that's pretty much what we ate, but they were amazing. I had a few grapes, and they were good, too.
And then a bunch of us who were at the reunion the previous night went to Annapolis for some tourism. Our youngest cousin (age eight) attached herself to us like most kids do at Disneyland, and we had fun chatting about things like what animals we've seen and which ones we like. She'd point out cicadas when she saw them. The best was when she said to me, "Have you ever seen a show called Miraculous?" I replied, "Oh my gosh. Look at Athena's shirt." Athena was wearing her Marinette shirt. We didn't talk about the show much, but our cousin did ask us if we prefer Cat Noir or Chat Noir, and then there was a brief discussion of French and how she should watch the show in that language. It wasn't until later that we found out she's in a French immersion program, which makes it all the more a good idea for her to watch Miraculous in its original form.
We bought some lemonade to make sure we didn't die, and some penuche fudge, which is super delicious. We went into the shop that sold it, and it caught my eye right away. I was like, "Penuche? What's that?" and our uncle was like, "It's the best!" and in my mind I was like, "I believe you, but I still don't know what it is," and then the guy at the counter said it was a brown sugar based fudge, and then I was like, "That does sound like the best!"
Then we walked back to the cars and headed back to the airport. We watched Raya and the Last Dragon on the way home and liked it much better than we expected, which is not to say that we loved it, but we found a lot of things to like about it. The characters were all very interesting...although I still can't really get behind the idea of a child that young having the fine motor skills to be a con-artist/spy. We really liked the art style, and the themes about trust and forgiveness winning over discord and fighting. There was something about the storytelling style that didn't really click with us, though. I can't quite explain it in specifics, but it felt like the narrative was more event-driven than character-driven...or something.
Our flight landed at about eleven at night, we took the shuttle home, and now here we are! Tadah!
Today I'm thankful for the Atonement, our musical number going pretty well, getting to hang out with our youngest cousin (and our other cousins and aunts and uncles), penuche fudge, and the music in the Seven Deadly Sins anime.