Monday, March 13, 2006

A Blah Week Ahead

First off, I want to thank everyone for their kind words these past few days. It is hard to lose a loved one, even though in the grand scheme of life, it is inevitable. Grandma was such a wonderful and loving woman. She had such a zest for life, I always thought of her as my spunky grandma. She was the type of woman who simply didn't take crap from anyone, if something was bothering her- she'd tell you. :-) I have such fond memories of visiting her growing up. We always loved going to Grandma's house. Some of my first memories of Grandma are of her taking me across the road from her house to visit a farm. They are vague memories, but I clearly remember walking up to the red barn with her. I also remember playing baseball with her and my family in her backyard. And then there are the walks around her rather large yard with her to check out the wildlife and the trees and plants. She took such pride in her yard and loved sharing her knowledge of nature, especially birds.

Grandma always had a genuine interest in what we enjoyed doing. I blame her completely for the love of reading I have today. :-) Although I started reading very young, it really was Grandma who gave me my first push into books. She gave me her collection of Nancy Drew mysteries when I was 8 years old, and an addiction was born. The very first one I read was Nancy Drew, The Mystery of the Moss Covered Mansion, and I never stopped. I still have those books, which Grandma continued to add to for many years. Although they are in the safe-keeping of my mother for now, I am looking forward to being able to share them with Abigail. I am certain that Grandma would approve of that.

And speaking of Abigail, Grandma just adored that little girl. And Zander as well, but I think there was something special about Abigail, she was the first Great Grandbaby. I remember Grandma holding her and loving her, and all of us talking about how wonderful it would be for Grandma to someday be a Great-Great Grandma. And how Grandma loved to give gifts. Every Christmas she would come for a visit, and it was like Santa was visiting, she would bring bags and boxes full of gifts for everyone. And they were always gifts that had so much thought put into them. Grandma would have this smile and twinkle in her eye as she watched the entire family open the precious gifts that she had spent so much time thinking about, shopping for, and wrapping up. And it was always something unexpected. Something that she saw and it made her think of you, so she would pick it up for you. This past Christmas she bought Andy and I a beautiful Chafing Dish. Only Grandma would have gotten us something so wonderful. Something that we would never buy for ourselves, but that we would completely enjoy using. I know that's where I get my love of giving gifts. The joy of sharing something with someone that you know they will love, something that you put thought and time into, and sometimes money, depending on the gift. But that is one thing that Grandma definitely shared with the entire family. My parents, my brothers, and my sisters, we all love gift-giving. While it is fun to receive, we could all care less if we walked away from a holiday empty-handed. As long as we had the opportunity to share with others, it was a wonderful holiday.

Grandma loved family, it was so important to her. My Dad has 4 sisters, and it was always so special to Grandma when the entire family could get together at once. We always tried to get together at Christmas at my parents house. It was so wonderful. I remember my first Christmas away from home, I so missed that. And the last time we did all get together, there were a couple of the cousins who just weren't going to be able to make it due to finances, and Grandma took care of that and made sure that EVERYONE was there. She will be missed so much. This coming June we have an extended family will be hard to be there without Grandma. Every other year we have such a get-together, and Grandma never missed a single one. And I always remember that we'd all get together for meals, and Grandma was always the first one to start tackling the clean-up. Stands to reason that in recent years, it's been my brothers and sisters and I who seem to have taken over the clean-up duties. It definitely won't be the same without Grandma giving the orders.

While Grandma will surely be missed, it will also be nice to remember her. She was so wonderful, I don't have any "bad" memories of her. And every time I see her in my mind she is smiling. I will always remember that smile, and all the stories she would tell...I do wonder what stories she had of Dad that she never shared. I am sure there were so many more... I am so grateful to have gotten to spend so much time with her. And I am grateful that Abigail got to know this wonderful woman as well. I hope that her faint memories of Grandma are a lot like my faint memories of my Great-Grandparents. I don't remember much, but I do remember how much they loved me. And that is enough memory to last a lifetime.

1 comment:

AK said...

A lovely tribute, Erika. I'm sorry for your loss. I still "write" to my grandmother, just as did when I went away to school and couldn't see her every day.