In Honor of the Queen

In many store windows in Oxford and in chapels of the Oxford colleges and other churches there are tributes like these to the beloved Queen Elizabeth II.

On Wednesday afternoon we watched the processional from Buckingham Palace to the Westminster Hall from our apartment in Oxford. Many businesses are short staffed this day so we are enjoying food in our apartment. We overdid it on Tuesday so we scaled back on our activities and stayed in to watch.

Lying in State now as her people file past to honor her.

Memorial and Reunions

Saturday morning June 11th was our friend Alice’s Memorial service in Whittier, California.

Her daughter Svetlana read the eulogy.

Our childhood friend Natalie is musically talented along with her husband and sons and they sang a favorite song of Alice’s, One Day at a Time Sweet Jesus. This is Natalie, her sons, and her husband is in the background on the keyboard.

We were able to take home Alice’s memoir of her escape from China. Alice’s father was Chinese and her mother was Russian.

Alice is on the left and her older sister on the right.

These are the last two paragraphs in Alice’s story of her escape and journey that eventually brought her to the United States. Her story is one of miracles traveling through China to Shanghai and then being able to sail on an American ship to the Philippines.  From there after a few years, her mother, older sister and Alice were finally able to immigrate to the U.S.A. and they landed in San Francisco in January of 1951. Alice was twelve when they arrived in San Francisco.

Five of my brothers and sisters were also at the Memorial and we took some photos together.

It was good to see so many old friends at the Memorial and to catch up on each other’s life events. It was good to great Alice’s kids, nephews, nieces and extended family and old family friends, church friends, and high school friends.

Later that evening some of us gathered at our niece’s home in Huntington Beach for a meal and more time catching up with each other.

 

Three of the four sisters and our friend Heidi with our youngest brother photo bombing.

A good but draining day. My time has been full here in Southern California with more get togethers to come.

Cali Day One

On Thursday we got up at O’dark’thirty and drove south to the Spokane airport for my trip to Southern California. It was a two leg journey for me. First leg from Spokane to Seattle which is a quick hour up and down trip with not much in the world of perks. The second leg was from Seattle to Orange County (John Wayne Airport also known as Santa Ana Airport). The airport is in the city of Santa Ana which is in the county of Orange.

I’m now in the land of Palm Trees but the sun and blue skies are not breaking through the June Gloom here.

My youngest sister works in a high rise that’s close enough to the airport to see the planes landing and she captured my plane as it came in for a landing. She was looking out for it since she would be picking me up from the airport.

Thankful for another safe landing.

Three of us ‘sisters’ enjoyed dinner out at the Black Trumpet in Huntington Beach before retiring for the evening.

The French Onion Soup was delicious and I’m sorry I didn’t take a photo before I destroyed the top of it!

Today (Friday) my sister Vera and I will have a walk along the Pacific Ocean. June Gloom is still happening here so I’m not sure what photos I’ll be snapping.

Our brother from Texas arrives tonight.

Saturday will be a day filled with many reunions with friends and family as we celebrate the life of our friend Alice.

Our daughter Katie with Alice at Katie’s bridal shower.

Our mom and our life long friend Alice. They are both in heaven now.

Trick or Treat Hodgepodge

 

If it’s Wednesday it must be time for Hodgepodge. Click over to Joyce’s blog to join in the fun.

1. Is Halloween a big deal in your neighborhood?

We live out in the country with homes far apart. We do not get trick or treaters. There are some homes decorated for Halloween. Our kids come by all dressed up which is fun. Our church puts on a Fall Fest Trunk or Treat that our grands will go to this year. Last year because it was the only thing happening in town and we had over a thousand people show up. That’s a lot for a town of 5000.

Was it something you celebrated as a child?

Yes we went around our neighborhood with pillow cases for bags. It seemed like the whole neighborhood was out and most houses gave out candy. We enjoyed sorting our candy when we got home. Our father would accompany us.

With your own children?

Yes, we enjoyed Trick or Treating with our kids and seeing all our neighbors.

Do you like candy corn? 

Not particularly.

2. Are you a scaredy cat? About what? 

I’m a scaredy cat about driving in snow or icy conditions.

3. Last time you were somewhere that should have been busy but felt like a ‘ghost town’? 

Nothing rings a bell.

4. Do you like chili and if so how do you like it?

Funny you should mention it but I made a pot of turkey chili Tuesday.

Beans or no beans?

Yes, we like to add black beans and a can of Pinto Chili Beans

Meat or no meat?

Yes, meat.

Beef or chicken?

Beef, chicken or ground turkey

Spice or no spice?

Yes, jalapenos and chili and cumin.

Favorite toppings? 

5. Would you describe yourself as a night owl? What time of night qualifies? What are you doing while everyone else is asleep? Do you then ‘sleep in’? Define ‘sleeping in’. 

Not a night owl.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Our son Josh was able to fly down to our nephew-in-law’s father’s memorial service last week. These are some of our nieces, nephews and our son together at the memorial. We couldn’t attend but were glad that Josh could be there in person to represent our family and to support Lenny and his family as they grieve.

Love each other, stay together.

Farewell…

Taking the day off to honor and remember our 41st President George H.W. Bush. He will be eulogized by his son, our 43rd President George W. Bush.

Our childhood friend George Katkov is also being laid to rest today. Sorry to miss his service in Southern California. Thinking of the family and praying for them.

I’ll be back to share about our quick trip across the mountains later this week.

Tuesdays With Moisi

The Reception:

After the graveside ceremony we all got in our cars and headed to Fullerton for a luncheon reception at an extension of EVFree Fullerton. We are thankful for them allowing us to use their facilities.

Our brother Tim left the reception before we thought to take a sibling photo.  There are 8 siblings that have survived our parents. Seven of us were together for our Pop’s funeral gatherings. We have one brother who made the choice along with his family of 12 (wife, 4 children, their spouses, and 3 of our pop’s great grandchildren) not to attend and we don’t know why. Just keeping it truthful and real. I haven’t seen this brother who is a couple years older than me since 2009. They didn’t attend our mother’s funeral, either. I’m sure they have their story but it’s a bewilderment and causes sadness to the rest of us.

But…the rest of us gathered and were comforted with all our extended families and friends who did honor our dear old Pop and us by showing up and giving us hugs and encouraging words, grieving and rejoicing together.

Our parents’ grands and great grands minus about 17…

Dear’s side of our family. Bottom left is Dear with his only brother. One of his daughters, who was in Southern California, was able to attend the funeral with him.

A few more photos from my DIL’s phone. We had a good time of impromptu singing some of our favorite songs in Russian with a few of our former church buddies from the Russian Baptist Church in Los Angeles that we were part of for many years.

Josh with his cousins Hope and Andrew and his niece Addy.

Addy with her cousin once removed, our niece Debbee.

Starting next week Tuesdays with Moisi posts will begin to share the story of my Pop’s life that was given verbally by him and transcribed by a journalist from Russia.

This photo is of Pop barbecuing Shashlik (Marinated Lamb Kebobs) for his birthday party in the early 90’s.

Happy Tuesday y’all. The air is clearer in Northeastern Washington, woohoo! So thankful!

Tuesdays with Moisi

From our Hillside Chapel service we got in our cars and traveled the short distance to our pop’s graveside next to our mom’s in the Summer Terrace area of Rose Hills. Many of our relatives are buried in different sections of this Memorial Park.

Rose Hills Memorial Park was founded in 1914 by Augustus Gregg on part of the historic Rancho Paso de Bartolo land grant. Whittier Heights Memorial Park, as it was originally known, began as an 18-acre cemetery serving the burgeoning city of Whittier. … At its largest, the park once spanned nearly 2,500 acres. Today, Rose Hills Memorial Park covers more than 1,400 acres, making it the largest cemetery in North America.

Our 93 year old aunt, Pop’s sister was a real trooper hiking up this slope with help from her grandchildren.

Our two sons, Josh and Dan.

Our nephew Andrew giving his respects.

Hope recited the 23rd Psalm in English.

Our parents lie side by side. My mom’s headstone reads “The Lord is my shepherd;… and on my pop’s headstone to the right of my mom it reads, “I shall not want”.

Hope’s dad, my brother Leonard, read the 23rd Psalm in Russian.

My pop’s grandsons Caleb and Joseph gave the graveside messages.

Some of Moisi’s granddaughters.

Dear’s only brother with one of his three daughters, Annie, our DIL Jamie and Addy.

Jamie and Addy with Addy’s great great aunt Anna who is our pop’s sister and the last surviving sibling in our pop’s family.

We don’t shelter our children from death and funerals.

We always do our part in burying our loved ones.

From the graveside services we drove to Fullerton for a catered reception that our dear old Pop provided the money for. We are grateful to EV Free Fullerton for allowing us to use one of their large halls. Next Tuesday with Moisi I’ll have photos from the reception.

Tuesdays with Moisi

The Memorial Service.

Family and friends gathered to remember and comfort one another.

Our brother Tim welcomed everyone and started our time off well with scripture and a prayer.

Granddaughters Debbee and Katie read Pop’s eulogy and Melissa read a special tribute she wrote. Our sister Lana read Psalm 103 in English after we shared a recording of our Pop reciting the Psalm from memory in Russian. Interesting note: Psalm 103 in the English Bible is Psalm 102 in the Russian Bible. Here are the first couple verses in Russian and English.

Прославь, душа моя, Господа!

Господи, мой Боже, Ты очень велик,
    Ты облачен в славу и величие.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!

 

Our sister Kathy, her husband Len and their daughter Michelle sang a trio of the one song our pop requested be sung at his funeral, Shine on Us.

Our brothers, Steve and Leonard, gave the message from Lamentations and other scripture. We lamented and we rejoiced.

Some of Dzeda’s Grandsons were the Pall Bearers.

Andrew, who you see at the back of the casket is our youngest nephew and Pop’s youngest grandson. From here we would travel to the graveside.

I’m copying and pasting our pop’s eulogy here. Dzeda is what his grandchildren called him, short for Dzedushka, grandfather in Russian. The eulogy is written from the grandchildren’s perspective.

Moisey (Moses/Moisi/Morris) Timofeyovich Bagdanov was born May 25th, 1923 to Timofey Fedotovich and Martha Ivanovna (Susoeva) Bagdanov in the small village of Salim outside of Rostov on Don in Rostovski Oblast, Russia. He was one of the twelve children. In 1932, the political situation in the young communist regime worsened for farmers and believers. His father was one of the 9 leaders of villages who went to Turkey and Persia (now Iran) to ask if they would be willing to take Russian refugees. Turkey said no but Iran was willing to allow them into their country.   He could not return to Russia for fear of imprisonment so he stayed in Iran leaving our great grandmother to fend for herself and their10 children. They waited for couriers to escort them under cover of night for their escape. After 3 attempts the rest of the family would escape to Iran in 1933, reuniting with their father and other Russian refugees. Dzeda had so many harrowing stories of survival, tragedy and deliverance and we all grew up hearing about God’s faithfulness and provision. Persia is where he would grow up and at a young age begin to work, be it farming, delivery boy or even washing the Shah’s car.  This young boy became a young man of marrying age. It was at this time that a girl came to his village where her aunt and grandmother lived. He caught a glimpse of her and knew that she was the one who he was going to marry. This girl was Nadzheda Fyodorovna Shvetzova, a young Baptist girl. They were married September 13,1943 in Rahmanabad, Iran. Together they would defy all odds in their 70 year marriage.

In 1944, Kathy #1 was born and the first of many hardships and heartaches would occur when she died sometime after her second birthday in 1946 from dysentery. Dzeda not only gets to be reunited with Babushka but with his sweet daughter. Then came Kathy #2, the Kathy you all know today. In 1947 they moved again to a country they did not know, with very little money, few skills, a culture and language they would have to learn but with hope and promise of freedom. They stepped into the unknown to make their home and raise a family. America! They left Iran September 3, 1947 on a Red Cross plane from Tehran to Cairo to Rome, to London where they wouldn’t let them off the plane so they were diverted to Ireland. After spending the night they continued to Iceland then Greenland and landed in New York on September 6th and got to Los Angeles by train, September 12, 1947.

During all this travel babushka was pregnant. Vera was their first child born in the US in 1948. Fred was born in 1949 and then Ellen in 1951. After a 7 year break, Tim was born in 1958 followed by Steve in 1959 and then Lana and Leonard in 1963. Although life as immigrants was new and tough, his approach was always positive with a can do attitude which he put to full use working up to three jobs at a time to not only pay off the cost of immigrating but to provide for his family. Within 6 years he was able to buy his first house in Montebello Gardens.

Dzeda had an incredible work ethic. He was dependable, reliable, conscientious and relentless in getting the job done. These were the qualities he embodied and instilled in all of his kids  – to do your best. The other quality he had was integrity – we can all say integrity and doing the right thing was the guide and gauge he lived by even before he was a believer. All the while Babushka persevered in praying for Dzeda’s salvation. Her prayer was answered in 1963 when Billy Graham came to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for a crusade. Our Aunt Ellen recalls, “I was in the eighth grade and attended the crusade every night with my father. I’ll never forget the night my dad got out of his seat and made the long walk down to the field to acknowledge God’s call on his life. What a glorious day!” It was not only a day of celebration but also a time when lives were forever changed.

Becoming a believer came at a high cost for Dzeda. Family and friends would question his decision and many ostracized him calling him a traitor from the tradition he grew up in. Because of that we learned what true courage and sacrifice looked like to follow Christ. Dzeda never stopped honoring his Molokan Father and Mother. Dzeda loved his Molokan, brothers and sisters and prayed for them often and loved to share the Good News with them and what freedom in Christ looked like and could be. He also loved fellow believers at Bethany Baptist Church and encouraged them often not only through bible studies and sharing what God was teaching him but even pastoring a small congregation of Russian believers in Santa Ana. He was always in God’s Word, talking with Babushka about what he was preparing and most of all  – praying. You could walk by their bedroom and see both Dzeda and Babushka on their knees praying and hearing your name.

In 1990, when they were in their seventies, our grandparents returned to Russia for the trip of a lifetime visiting the villages they were born in and reconnecting with family. Little did we know that this would be the start of a new chapter for both of them as missionaries going back and forth taking money to churches to build buildings to meet in. Dzeda calculated that they had taken almost $200,000 in the 11 trips they made in the 90’s. Then in 1998 they decided to sell their house and move there where they started a Bible study and then a church in the village where some of our relatives still live. Dzeda baptized many and God used him to bring hope and salvation to that little community.

 

Dzeda loved God and taught all of us the fear of the Lord. He loved God’s Word and up until the beginning of this year he read it daily. Consistently reading his Bible – daily! He probably read the Bible all the way through at least 20 times. And as you saw in the video earlier he had so much of it memorized. If you started a passage for him he would be able to finish it by memory. He would remind himself of God’s truth even in the long days that remained of his life after Babushka died in 2013. He encouraged all of us to do the same.  He missed our babushka terribly and tried to live alone but soon needed extra care and attention so Aunt Kathy and Uncle Len offered him a room and companionship in their home and it became his home where he lived out his days and died surrounded by Len, Kathy and Melissa, his angel as he called her. We are all so grateful to them for their devotion in honoring our Dzeda.

We could not be more excited for Dzeda – he is now in heaven! God heard his prayer and answered it  – He waited upon the Lord and the Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him. As it says in 2 Corinthians: “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” Dzeda is now living by sight at home with the Lord – His prayer was finally answered.

If you leave here remembering anything that is said today – remember this – He would want you to know the good news of the Gospel – that Jesus Christ came to this world to die on the cross for your sins and that if you believe in Him you will have eternal life – a life in heaven, whatever the cost  – it’s worth it!

Thank you for coming today to help us honor and celebrate the life of our Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Uncle and friend, to support us – but most of all to thank the Lord for a life redeemed and well lived and to be reminded that eternal life means that there is more life to come after we die, a life characterized by the resurrection life and body of Jesus Christ, as James 1:12 says: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

 

Spur One Another On…

…in love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10: 24-25 (NIV)

Cousins enjoying breakfast together the day after the funeral.

While many of our extended family gathered in southern California for our Pop’s funeral we took every advantage to enjoy each other’s company at restaurants, in homes and at the beach.

Cousins, aunts and uncles at Huntington Beach.

These two had to leave shortly after this photo was taken.

After the beach we gathered at our niece’s home in Huntington Beach and my siblings and I were captured having a laugh out loud till we cried moment.

Addy with her cousin once removed reading to her. Breakfast, Beach, airport, dinner all on Saturday July 21st.

Our pop’s famous greeting and benediction.

Newport Beach, Balboa Island and Balboa Peninsula on Sunday July 22nd.

Newport Beach at our nephew and niece’s home. We are enjoying pizza and salad here for dinner. Earlier in the day we walked over to Balboa Island and enjoyed hot dogs from Crocker’s , the well dressed frank! Oh yum I forgot to take a photo of the best Chicago Dog that I’ve ever had!

Many of us out of towners left after this get together on Sunday July 22nd. The rest of the family enjoyed more special times together after we left.

Sunday July 29th was a birthday celebration at Golden Skewers in Montebello for our brother Leonard who is twins with our sister Lana. (She was gone for this celebration). Next door to Golden Skewers is a bakery we’ve enjoyed for over 50 years, Amy’s. The birthday cake in the next photo was purchased there.

Birthday brother with my two older sisters getting ready to enjoy the cake at my sister Kathy’s home.

With our parents gone from this earth the baton is in our court to keep our families connected and accountable to carry on in the good faith of our fathers.

Back here in Washington State we continue to tie up loose ends on this side of the mountains. We are making progress in emptying out our shop and making plans to find a spot to store that stuff in Colville or Kettle Falls. It’s been quite hot on both sides of the mountains and we are looking forward to cooler days to work in. Some new possibilities for homes have come on the market. We have a comfortable space here at our son and daughter in law’s in the meantime. God bless them. I’ve also had some quiet times in the morning to spend in the Word and then to even visit blogs. I don’t feel as displaced these days. Thank you for your visits and comments and prayers during this time of our lives. You are an encouragement to me.

Tuesdays with Moisi

I have a lot I want to share on my blog about my dear old Pop and his story. He was known as…Moisey (Moses/Moisi/Morris) Timofeyovich Bagdanov. For a time I will post part of my Pop’s story on Tuesdays. Every Tuesday was my day to call Pop and touch bases with him. For this first Tuesday I’m starting with our goodbyes to him on this earth. This was his viewing at Rose Hills on Thursday evening July 19, 2018.

Many friends and family were able to come and go over a 4 hour period. It was good to see and catch up with those we haven’t seen  since our mom’s funeral.

The casual service ended up being a hymn sing with requests from the friends and family who came. Our brother in law, Len, led the singing. It was so good to sing those great old hymns with true words that resonate today.

Some of our girls and nieces.

My sister Lana read this portion from the Bible that was referenced on this puzzle our Pop put together in his last years. These are his hands.

Exodus 15:2 The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God and I will exalt him.”

Next Tuesday will be a photo overload from the funeral service, graveside service and reception.