about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



Remembering.

And just like that, we are home again.  We had to plan our trip pretty quickly, and now that it’s over I’m so glad we went a few days early so we could maximize our time with family.  We were really just there to visit, to relax, and to remember.  The first few days, as people trickled in from around the country, we were able to just hang out and help get ready for the memorial service.  We did a lot of snuggling. 

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Thursday evening brought the visitation and service for Mamaw.  It was an evening service, and I was sad that I wouldn’t be able to go (it was after Cullen’s bedtime).  Thankfully, my little sister – who goes to college in Indianapolis – offered to come over and babysit Cullen and his 3.5 year old cousin, so that we could all be there to remember as a family. 

It was a beautiful service, led by the family, who shared many stories, memories, and some laughs.  While she was not my grandmother by blood, she was still a very loving figure in my life, and she’ll be greatly missed.  Here are a few pictures of her meeting Cullen last Christmas. 

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Times like this are such painful reminders of the challenges of living far away.  I wish she’d been able to spend more time with him, and watch him grow.  She asked about him all the time. 

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And here she is, looking absolutely radiant on our wedding day back in 2009. 

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She was so fun and outgoing.  Hitting the dance floor with the rest of us, even in her 80’s. 

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After the service, we all headed home to throw a party that Mamaw would have been proud of.  We stayed up way too late, laughing and talking, all gathered in the kitchen as always.  Did I mention that there were 15 people, 2 kids, and 3 dogs all staying in my in-laws’ three bedroom house?  It was NUTS, but it was awesome.  We had family in from Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Chicago, and even the Cayman Islands.  While of course I wish the circumstances were different, it was wonderful to have so much focused time with family.   

While we were there, Cullen also got to spend a lot of time with one of his other great-grandmothers!  She loves him so much.

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Four generations of Malone – pretty cool!

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He also had fun chasing around the big doggies.  Ruthie the Rottweiler weighs just over 120 pounds, and is as sweet as can be.  Even though I know she would never hurt a fly, I admit I was a bit nervous going into this trip.  Cullen hadn’t been around the dogs since he’d started walking, but they didn’t mind him one bit.  Can you imagine what she looks like from his perspective? 

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He also had a great time getting to know his cousin, Jackson.  Technically they are probably like second or removed cousins, but that stuff is too complicated to deal with.  He’s three and a half, and Cullen thought he was the best thing that ever happened.

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Anything Jackson did, Cullen tried to do too, and Jackson was the only one that could send him into fits of hysterical giggles. 

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Friday morning we were all up early for the grave side service for Mamaw.  It was cold, but sunny, and I think we all felt her presence shining down as we said goodbye for the last time.  It was really sad.

Afterward, with all the services and formal gatherings over, we all hit the couches to relax and just enjoy being together.

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There were also obligatory family photos.  It always feels like such a pain at the time, but they are so fun to look back on down the road.  Family from Atlanta, Columbus, and Denver…

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And our whole crew (minus two!) all together.  Yay for the self timer!

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And our immediate Malone contingent.  Ignore my weird pose.  I was running back and forth and trying to wedge myself into the photo casually (fail).  Notice my sister in law’s cute baby bump!  She’s 23 weeks along with a little girl, who I can’t wait to meet!

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We had a big delicious Italian dinner with pasta, stuffed shells, garlic bread, and roasted vegetables.  I went back for seconds and thirds.  A guitar was passed around, and provided our evening entertainment. 

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And a bottle of champagne was opened, so we could all toast to Mamaw’s wonderful, and very full life. 

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At some point during that evening, we noticed Buggie – the German Shepherd – acting a little funny.  He seemed really depressed and lethargic, but it was possible he was also really overwhelmed by all the people and the activity in the house.  Tina (my MIL) kept snuggling and checking on him, and agreed to wait until the next morning to see if he had perked up.

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By 7am, Casey was up and helping carry him into the car to head to the vet.  He was not acting right, and something seemed really wrong.  It feels weird to even type this, because it still feels very surreal.  A few hours later, after trips to two different vets and some exploratory surgery, my inlaws lost their beloved Buggie.

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It was so SO unexpected, and I still can’t quite believe it.  He was only 7, but turned out to have spleen and liver cancer that could not be treated.  We buried Mamaw on Friday, and lost Buggie on Saturday morning.  Life feels very unfair sometimes.  I will always remember him as such a gentle giant. 

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It was such a sad, sad day.  The house felt so empty, as family began to say goodbye and head back home, and we all missed Buggie’s familiar presence under the kitchen table or curled up on the couch.  I was so glad we had decided to stay until Sunday, so that we’d have some extra time with Casey’s parents once the rest of the crowd departed.

We ended our visit on an upswing – a short but sweet visit from my mom and Sarah. 

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It was fun to spend a few hours with them as we got packed up and ready to head back.  And then we said our goodbyes and made our way to the airport just before Cullen’s bedtime.  He traveled in style in his flannel pajamas. 

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Eight hours of travel later (six in the air), we arrived home to a dead car battery in the airport parking lot.  It was 34 degrees outside, so we all bundled up close in the backseat until roadside assistance could help.  We finally made it home around 1am this morning, and I gave my pups giant kisses and scratches.  We even let them sleep in the bed last night, which they never do anymore. 

But this past week was a reminder that life is short, and we never know how much time we have left with people (and dogs!) that we love.  They have gotten a few extra treats today, and I have plans to call my own Grandmother this week just to say hi.  I know that someday, I will look back and inevitably wish that there had been more. 

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48 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Lee     at 2:42 pm

I’m so sorry to hear of your family’s multiple losses.

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Katy     at 2:43 pm

That was so sad! Poor Buggie and Mamaw. Was that a University of Northern Iowa sweatshirt Casey was wearing??

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Lauren Reply:

I noticed the UNI sweatshirt too! Always love seeing anything Iowa.

It is always so difficult to lose a loved one but the time spent with family is wonderful!

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ahair-cut.com Reply:

I would like to say thank for sharing this great article. We can’t get this kind of information from

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Tricia     at 2:54 pm

OH that is so sad!!!! But it looks like you had so much fun with the fam. I’m sure Mamaw was looking down on you all and happy to see you all enjoying each other’s company.

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Erica {Coffee & Quinoa}     at 2:59 pm

What a tough week! Sorry to hear about it :(

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afarmerinthedell.com     at 3:03 pm

I am so happy you got to be with Casey’s family for the service. I am also really sorry to hear about the loss of their dog. I will be squeezing my pup a little tighter tonight.

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Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)     at 3:06 pm

Now I have tears in my eyes over Buggie. Losing a pet is the worst! I’m so sorry for their loss!

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jenny     at 3:07 pm

beautifully written. the hits just kept on coming, didn’t they? so sorry to hear about both losses in the family. thinking of you all!

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Erica     at 3:09 pm

Goodness I am so sorry to hear all of this! I hope you are able to rest up this week and thank you for the reminder to appreciate what we have in our life!

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Michaela     at 3:13 pm

how sad :( I am really sorry to hear about the losses.
Emily, you have such a great way of writing, it always touches my soul.

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Rachel @ Personality Crafts     at 3:27 pm

Wow, Emily, what a rough week you guys had. So sorry for you, Casey, and your in-laws. But you’re right, life is unexpected and it’s a good reminder to hug our loved ones a little tighter. Hope this week goes better for you.

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Meagan     at 3:52 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about all that Emily! Welcome back to Seattle :) the weather has gone grey again.

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Betsy @ A Dancer In The Kitchen     at 4:25 pm

So sorry for both of your losses. A beautiful post though Emily about how life is so short and precious.

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Colleen     at 4:27 pm

That is so sad. Life, human and animal, is so short and precious. Definitively going to give my fur kids an extra hug and pat.

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Miranda     at 4:27 pm

Oh Emily I’m so sorry for all the losses in your family. So hard to say goodbye to such loved members.

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Elisabeth     at 4:32 pm

Well that’s a rough week! Great writing, by the way ;)

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Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras     at 4:37 pm

I’m so sorry, Emily. I have to tell you that one of my cats has been driving me crazy the past hour, jumping on the kitchen table, getting into my purse, scratching the furniture – but after reading this, I went over and picked her up and cuddled her for awhile. I think it’s easy to forget how precious the lives of our loved ones – people and pets – are.

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Krissy @ Make it Naked     at 4:46 pm

Thinking of you guys and sending lots of love. I’m so sorry :( I can’t believe that about Buggie. On Saturday we were on our way to a surprise 50th bday party hosted by my best friend for her mom and I got a text that said “Had to put rosco down unexpectedly this morning. Just wanted you to know because I’ll probably still be crying when you get here.” He too had a tumor on his spleen. His had burst. So terribly sad and then she had to host a party. Ugg. He was the cutest blood hound and had a great 10 years here. Now him and Buggie are playing in doggie heaven! Glad you’re home safe. Hugs!

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caroline     at 4:51 pm

You really are a beautiful writer. I am so sorry about both losses… they’re both so sad in different ways.

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sarah     at 5:08 pm

And this is why I’m so looking forward to March. Hugs.

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Kelli     at 5:16 pm

Wow how sad it happened so quick feel so bad for your in-laws glad you got to see them and be with them

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Amber K     at 5:37 pm

That is such a hard thing to go through. I’ll be keeping you and your family in my prayers and thoughts. Although it is a good reminder to keep everyone I know and love close to my heart.

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Colleen     at 5:39 pm

you are so right that life is short and we don’t know how long we have with the people and pets we love. my aunt passed away this weekend and it still doesn’t seem real. I just want one more hug, one more phone call, one more Facebook post. so hug your families tight – you never know when it will be the last time.

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Anna @ On Anna's Plate     at 6:10 pm

Aw, what a mixed trip. I’m so sorry about the family loss– I don’t want this to sound wrong, but I think sometimes the sudden loss of a pet can be even more of a shock than the loss of an older family member. In any case, loss is loss, and I hate to hear that y’all dealt with so much of it this week. :-( But spending time with family is always nice– glad you go to see family members that you don’t get to see that often!

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Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 6:17 pm

I’m so sorry for all the losses you are all experiencing. We just lost one of our dogs to Leukemia, so I can sympathize. I’m glad you got to spend some time with your family even though it wasn’t under the happiest of circumstances. Sending you all some love and grace!

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Erin     at 6:23 pm

Beautiful post. I’m so sorry for your family’s losses!

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Jen @ Finding My Inner Bombshell     at 8:56 pm

I’m so sorry about both of your losses.

I had a similar thing happen with my dog I had growing up. One day she was fine, the next day we found out she had cancer, the day after that we lost her. Dogs seem to like to hide their illnesses from us.

I hope that your family has some happy times coming up.

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April     at 9:04 pm

I am so sorry to hear about the losses with your family. I suppose the great thing is that you got to spend time together and appreciate life, like you said. Such a sad but sweet posting.

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Mary     at 4:57 am

I am crying reading this post. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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Katy     at 7:29 am

I’m so sorry for your losses of Mamaw and Buggie, but glad that you got to spend time remembering with your family!

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Leah     at 8:08 am

oh Emily, I’m trying so hard not to cry in my office while reading this. Beautiful post. Poor pup. :( So glad you could fly out and join the family–important times. :)

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Patty     at 8:15 am

A beautiful post!

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Julie     at 8:32 am

What a nice tribute to Casey’s grandma! So sorry about the dog. How sad! :(

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Rachel C     at 9:14 am

Oh I am so sorry. What a wonderful tribute to Casey’s Mamaw. I find myself crying for Buggie. Our animals are our family.

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Hilary @ PeanutButterSpoonfuls     at 10:13 am

Oh wow, so sorry about both Mamaw and Buggie. So glad that Cullen was able to meet his great grandmother. He will treasure those pictures. I’ve found that after you have a kid the in-law/blood relative line blurs. If someone is a blood relative of your blood relative, I feel like that counts for something more.

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Michelle@Peachy Palate     at 11:03 am

Beautiful post and lovely photos as always. So sorry to hear about the dog as well, quite the difficult trip but glad to hear your home safe and sound and I guess no matter how traumatic and sad at times life can be there is always something to be taken from it; love that you’ve looked at the positives in the midst of it all.

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Charlie @therunnerbeans     at 11:41 am

I am so sorry for your family’s loss, it is so tough. My boyfriend lost his grandma on Thursday last week. So sad, but someone told me that they hold on until after the holidays then go quietly to make less of a fuss.

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Emily     at 12:39 pm

This post hits so close to home. I just lose my grandma last week, she was 10 days shy of 91! I was able to visited with her at least once a week and I’m still left feeling like I should have visited more. I keep reminding my husband that he needs to call his grandparents more offen too because we were both so lucky to have them in our lives so long. Times like this just really remind you how important it is to the people (and pets!) you love just how much they mean to you.

So sorry you are going through this as well. Thoughts and prayers to you <3

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Jean     at 2:31 pm

Emily,

I’m so sorry for your and Casey’s loss. It can be incredibly difficult to lose a grandparent, especially when you’re far away from family. I live overseas and only get to see family once or twice a year. I lost my grandfather this winter and, as devastating as it was, I cherished the time I spent with my family at his memorial. It was so hard to leave, though, and made the everyday absence of family even more visceral. I guess we’re lucky to have such wonderful families to miss in the first place :). Your story really struck a chord and got the tears flowing anew. Take good care of yourselves!

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health     at 3:58 pm

That was a beautiful post Emily! Sometimes it is the sad times that brings us all together to appreciate one another. Sorry for your loss.

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 5:35 pm

I’m so sorry for all the loses you’ve had recently. But I’m so glad you have such a close family to help you get through it all. <3

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Sara @ LovingOnTheRun     at 6:07 pm

I am so sorry for your loss! Even though it was a sad time I am glad that you all were able to spend time together! Prayers for you and your family!

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Heather (cake and green beans)     at 7:49 am

I called my grandma as soon as I finished reading this. Thank you for such a thoughtful post. Sending up a prayer for your family this morning!

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Chuck     at 8:05 am

Our canine partners are so loyal. I’m sure Buggie figured that Mamaw might need someone to hold on to as they walked toward that beautiful light together. I know you miss them both terribly. Thanks for sharing your story here and may God bless and comfort you.

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Emily Malone Reply:

So true!

[Reply]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » My Three Sons.     at 2:53 pm

[...] losing my inlaws’ dog a few weeks ago, it was a sickening reality check that my dogs are starting to get older.  They have been [...]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Graduation & Mother’s Day Weekend.     at 4:24 pm

[...] last time we were in Indy (back in January), their 7-year old German Shepherd, Buggie, passed away.  Now they have a new pup who is wild and crazy – these were the only pics I caught of him [...]

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