I’m back from Los Angeles.

I flew out on Friday for Uncle Heraier’s funeral.  He drew quite a crowd.  Dad, Uncle Johnny, Uncle Yervand, Aunt Maggie, Evelyn, Ed, and I all flew in for the service.  Uncle Johnny came from Canada.  Uncle Yervand and Aunt Maggie came from England. Evelyn and Ed came in from Germany.  The church was packed – not just packed but overflowing – with family and friends.  We gathered in Uncle Heraier’s home much of the time, and it seems the phone rang constantly.  Family and friends called to offer their condolences to Aunt Arek, Ani and Zaareh. 

There’s a lot I could say about the weekend.  I could talk about the experience of burying a family member or the experience of listening to my Uncle Johnny preach a sermon in church.  I could speak of what I learned about my family.  I could tell of the stories we shared or the things people told me about my dad as a kid.  I could talk about the commitments I made to my cousins and the trips I plan to make to see my uncles and aunts.  I could talk about the experience of being infiltrated in the Armenian language and culture for a couple of days.  I could talk about the experience of travelling with my dad for the first time in a long time.  I have much to process after the weekend.  It may take a while to wrap my head around what happened this weekend.

For now, I offer a few photos of my Uncle Heraier’s family, gathered in his honor:

I have a few personal favorite photos from the weekend.  This is my new favorite picture with my Uncle Yervand:

And this is my new favorite picture with my dad:

It was a hard, but rich weekend. I hope Uncle Heraier was pleased with the coming together that happened.  I believe he was. 

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