Saturday, June 27, 2009

My amazing grandma

Today was not one of my favorite days but it was a day I knew nonetheless was going to come. My grandma (my twin) died this week and it has not been an easy thing for me to deal with. It is true that grandma has not been herself the last 6 years since she had a stroke but every once in awhile you would get a glimmer of the silly and fun grandma that she used to be. One thing she never did lose was her love and caring for her family and what a family she had!

I know that my desire to have a family and take care of others comes from my grandma! I am so glad that she has passed on what I believe to be her best traits :)

There are so many amazing memories I have of time with my grandma, I spend a great deal of my childhood at my grandma's house. We were so close and so much alike that we called ourselves twins and we would sign our birthday cards with our combined age (we are currently 102 years old!)

I remember many days spent in my grandma's kitchen. My grandma loved to bake and I definitely have acquired a love of baking from her. I don't like cooking so much, but I love baking. I used to spend lots of nights over at her house (sometimes by myself and sometimes with my brother and cousins) and we would always make a big breakfast and set the table really nice for breakfast. I remember almost weekly going home with grandpa and grandma after church and we would make big Sunday dinners and I would set the table and help grandma as much as I could. We would make animals out of bread dough and bake them and my grandma was ALWAYS baking cookies and always had a full cookie jar. The neighbor kids would stop by daily to get a cookie from her and my grandma always had cookies and cold ice water for the mailman during the summer months.

I remember many different Christmas celebrations of time spent painting Christmas bulbs with grandma. I remember painting a Christmas bulb when I was really young where I somehow spelled the word JOY backwards. We hung that on the Tree of Remembrance for my brother John at our funeral home every year and I just got it back a couple years. I think it may need to go back on the tree this year in remembrance of grandma.

Grandpa and Grandma didn't have very much money when we were kids growing up and I have to say that never stopped us from having fun. She would save all of her grocery boxes and we would play grocery store. We would pretend their bed was a boat and pretend to go fishing off of it. We made a huge dollhouse out of shoe boxes and painted the walls and made furniture out of cardboard for the people. Or my favorite thing of all time - Grandpa would water his garden during the day and then that night we would go out with flashlights and dig worms!!!

There are so many great memories I have of my time with grandma and I hope that I can pass some of these traditions onto my kids and grand kids someday!

My grandma had an amazing story of perseverance for her life. She had 2 open heart surgeries, a stroke, a heart attack and is also a cancer survivor. She lived to see a milestone a month ago that most people will never see - 60 years of marriage! I want a lot out of my life that she was lucky enough to have. I can't imagine how amazing it had to be for her to watch her family grow! She had 5 kids, which grew into 14 grandchildren, which grew into 22 great-grandchildren (the latest being born a couple weeks ago with 3 more great-grandchildren on the way right now!) She also had 8 brothers and sisters and 31 nieces and nephews! Wow! What a heritage huh? That is the most important thing for me to pass on in my life - I want to continue this amazing heritage - I am just sad I was unable to do so before grandma's passing. I know she would have loved to see one of my babies!

What an amazing women and she will be missed by so many people! She is someone I will always strive to be more like and I can't wait to see her again someday!