Monday, January 23, 2017

One Final Send Off for Grampa

Thank you everyone who came to Grampa's funeral on Saturday - whether it was helping us set up for the luncheon beforehand, bringing over tables/chairs/food (thank you, Kristin and Alex!), joining us at the funeral mass at St Charles, or coming to celebrate Grampa's life at my house, THANK YOU. It meant so much to the entire Hancock/Callahan/Keeley/Masse families.

Here are a few group photos from the party.

Conor dancing with his cousin, Kelsie.

Caden playing with his cousins Lyla and Kayla.

Cal watching the slideshow with his Grammy and "Great" Aunts Debbie and Kiki.

Here is a pic of Grammy and Grampa with 12 of their 14 grandchildren taken Christmas 2014. The only two missing are Baby Cal and Baby Joey! They're 4 months apart.

The majority of the Hancock family the year prior, Thanksgiving 2013.

All the cousins played an important role at Grampa's funeral. The 7 of us Hancock cousins were pallbearers, Chrissy gave the eulogy, Doug and Derek did readings, I read the prayers of the faithful, and Jill, Ryan, and Jodie brought up the gifts.

For anyone who missed it - here is a copy of Grampa's eulogy. Beautifully written and delivered by my sister, Chrissy. She did such an amazing job. 

"My grandfather, Francis Marshall Hancock, was born on New Years Eve in 1926, 90 years ago. The life events my Grampa lived through are what the majority of us here learned at the Kennedy Middle School. 

He was born during Prohibition and lived in a house of four boys - he, John, James, and Charlie - during the Great Depression. Seeing as my two year old nephews can both eat three pieces of pizza in one sitting, I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for my great-grandparents to feed four growing boys, especially when my Grampa used to shovel his back yard for fun. This is probably why he always ate everything on his plate. He used to laugh and say he was a proud member of the “clean plate club”

Some of the incredible events Grampa lived through include: The Holocaust, WW2, the cold War, the Korean War, Vietnam, 9/11, and the War on Terror. He was alive for the assassinations of John Lennon, MLK, JFK and RFK, the bombing at Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On a more uplifting note, he also lived through Beatle Mania, the Moon Landing, Y2K, and even signed up for Facebook!

My Grandparents, Fran and Betty Hancock, were married for almost 65 years. He loved my Grandmother with everything he had. Through their incredible love, they had three daughters- Barbie, my mom; Debbie, my godmother; and Kiki, my favorite… ;) 

My mom and her sisters absolutely loved their father. He could fix anything, build anything, do anything. He’s the one they called when they had a bad dream in the middle of the night or needed an opinion on a big life decision. He was always there for you. After years of Grampa helping his daughters, seeing the way that the three of you have come together over the past few years to take care of him and Grammie has been truly inspiring. They are so lucky to have daughters like you, and you are so lucky to all have each other. I am continuously impressed by how dedicated you all are to your families. 

Because my mom and aunts grew up in a home full of love and strong, Catholic family values, when they all had children, this love and family connection was passed down to myself, my sister and my 5 cousins. I have always thought of my cousins as my siblings and I know in my heart that my Grampa couldn’t be more proud of all of us. Doug, when you were in the Navy, Grampa was beaming. You weren’t around, but I wish you could have seen how he would light up when he talked about you. Derek, Grampa was so impressed by how athletic you are, your thirst for knowledge, and how caring of a man you have come to be. Jill, you were Grammie and Grampa’s first granddaughter. He must have been so excited to show you off when you were a baby. Funny enough, Brady was also his first great grandchild. What a special connection you have with Grampa. Ryan, your quiet strength reminds me so much of Grampa and he was so proud of the family man and great father you have become. Jodie, I think you were Grammie and Grampa’s fourth daughter. He loved your spunk and sense of humor and was always so protective of you. Shazzy, Grampa was so proud of you for being in the FBI. When you lived away and would FaceTime us on a holiday, he’d be so excited to talk to you. I think of all the memories we have shared with Grampa and feel so lucky to have had him in my life for so long. 

Grampa was genuinely interested and supportive in everything we did. He would always be at every event of ours - soccer, basketball, football, little league games, cheerleading competitions, Christmas school performances, parades we were in, and graduations. I wonder how many graduation ceremonies Grampa sat through….

We all have so many special memories of our grandfather, father, father-in-law, (grampa-in-law) husband and friend. He was the hardest worker I know. He loved electronics (which I think is where I get it from), was extremely tech savvy, he loved playing his records for us, and setting up home videos on the old projector. He would play any game with us growing up, but unlike MY dad, would always thoroughly read the directions…twice! 

From Skip-Bo to Tiddly Winks, and Cribbage to Shuffle Board, Grampa was always ready to teach, play, or talk to us about anything. 

We are going to miss you so much, Grampa. You are the Patriarch of our family and your legacy will live on through everything you have taught us, through our memories, and through the love that we all share. We love you."

RIP Grampa.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Francis M. Hancock Jr. - My Grandfather

What an emotional last few days...

My Grampa turned 90 on New Years Eve. He had just been discharged from the hospital the day before and he seemed like he was doing pretty good. Turns out, he was aging pretty quickly and when he went back to the doctor last Friday for a routine visit, he was admitted once again. Sadly, he passed away last night peacefully - and we all know he is in a much more comfortable place. You can read his obituary here.

I sure am going to miss my Grampa. He was a one of a kind, special, intelligent, hard working, determined, family man. I am so fortunate to have had almost 32 years with him - and I am even more grateful that he met all three of my baby boys.

Gram and Gramp with Conor and Caden at their house in 2015. Looks like the boys were about 1.

GG and GG meeting Cal at one week old.

GG and GG with Cal on his Christening day.

My graduation from Endicott, May 2007.

Christmas 2015 at Debbie's...Grampa is way in the back there!

Grampa is on the left - I think this was Easter...everyone was looking in the backyard for the eggs!

A few of my wedding pics...

I found this photo in my grandmother's wallet.

This may have been Chrissy's birthday. Maybe May 1990?

My bridal shower in Cape Cod, June 2010.

Jodie's wedding, Aug 2008.

Chrissy's condo in Arlington, 2008.

Christmas Eve 2008 lol. We got mashed potato mashers! Wooooohooooooo!

A Christmas at Debbie's...not sure when, maybe 2007?

Grampa and Jim - some Christmas Eve.

I love you, Grampa. I am so sad you are gone, but so fortunate I was able to say goodbye. We will take care of Grammy.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

My Maternity Leave is Over :(

Today is my last day of maternity leave. I feel like this picture was taken last month - how in the world was this 5 months ago???

I wanted to write about my little boy and some of the best times we've had over the last 5 months. Let's start with the day he was born! Sure, I wrote about his birth story, but here's a pic when my parents came to visit MGH. Cal is spending the day at daycare today (as he has a few days a week to prepare for my first day of work tomorrow). 

Meanwhile, Caden and Conor have their first day of preschool tomorrow. I hate to say I am "nervous" but I have so many mixed emotions about them going to preschool. First, I am sad I won't be spending every day with all my boys. However, I think the preschool will be good for them. They can make friends, socialize a bit more, and hopefully their vocabulary will continue to increase. Second, it's a new place with a new type of structure they haven't had before. This is an old converted elementary school  that is a preschool now - compared to the home daycare they used to go to everyday. Third, I often struggle to understand what they are saying, especially with their twin language and speech delay. Therefore, I hope the people at school understand them and their needs are met. I have to say, they have been doing SUCH an amazing job. Despite the few temper tantrums and their typical  "age 2" behavior, I am so proud of them. They fascinate me every day. :)

But anyway, here are a few highlights with my little Cal and some of my favorite memories.

He met his great-grandparents!

Getting ready for our family photo shoot on 7/30/16.

How (and where) we spent the first few months....we barely left this couch.

One day over the summer, I took all three boys to Dane Street Beach in Beverly.....alone.  I wrote about it here.

We visited Auntie Chrissy at work!

And we went to countless new parks. :)

We even visited Colby Farm and saw all the sunflowers.

And visited Beacon Hill and the State House.

We got dressed for our christening. :)

And then there's this face...which I can't get enough of!

And bath time in Cape Cod.

Loves chillin on the beach!

Months 1-4.

Gearing up for Christmas! Helping mommy hang the stockings.

Lots and lots and lots of this. :)

Cal's first few days of daycare last month. He went for a few hours on Tues and Thurs to get used to it!

Cal's first present!!!!

Cal's first Christmas. :)

Helping mommy work on those abs. ;)

Taking a nap in Cal's room. Cal in his crib, and mommy in the bed next to it.

This face. I sure am going to miss him.