Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bye- Bye Grammie

In the last 8 years, we have had 7 family funerals-6 grandparents and a dad.  That is too many.

On Sunday, my Grammie died.  She was the last of our 8 grandparents.  She was sick and had a poor quality of life, so while it was time for her to go, it is still sad.

She was probably the grandparent that I was closest to.  My parents moved to Colorado when they were first married and my dad was in the Army.  So I never grew up near my grandparents who all lived in Washington State.  Chris was blessed to have is grandparents close by and therefore he had a much stronger relationship with them.  My memories are all of visits from them or vacations to their houses.  My Grammie and I had a stronger relationship.  I used to love to sit and watch her put on her makeup when she would come and visit.  She also passed on her love of Geography and travel to me.  She and Grandpa traveled extensively and they loved to learn about the culture and history of the places they visited.  They would always bring a slide show of their latest travels and we would sit and watch Grammie describe the exciting places they had seen.  The other kids hated it, but I secretly craved it.  She also was a strong beliver in women's rights and accomplishments.  She had a game called "Foremothers".  It was like Go Fish but it had pictures and descriptions of influential women of the past and their accomplishments.  She gave it to me about 10 years ago and I used it in my classroom.  The students loved to look at the funny pictures of the women (see Gertrude Stein and Locretia Mott).

I can't even begin to imagine what Grammie's life was like.  She was born in 1919.  On June 22 she would have turned 95.  She grew up in the depression where things were scarce and you didn't waste anything.

She married a soldier and had to send a telegram to Okinawa Japan to let her husband know that she had given birth to their first son and that she decided to name him David (my dad).  Can you even imagine that?  My grandpa didn't even get to see my dad until he was over 6 months old.  Grammie also knew loss.  She lost their youngest child (my dad's sister) when she was 3 years old.  She just collapsed and died one day while playing with my dad and uncle.  She had a rare heart condition that they didn't know about.  She also lost her oldest grandchild (my sister Carol) when she was 12 years old.

But she was a tough old bird.  She really wanted to visit Japan and my grandpa, who had seen so much death and destruction there, refused to go with her.  So she went with a friend instead.  She was really active in her church and served in many capacities even though my grandpa refused to go to church with her.

I have been wanting to do a picture like this for some time and I dug this picture up the other day and took this "flashback" picture.  She died 11 days later.

Lisa and Grammie- Summer of 1979

Also did a re-creation of the picture with Nana and her only granddaughter

I cherish my memories of her and am thankful that she instilled in my a love for education, hard work, geography and God.  They have served me well.  I am thankful that I will get to meet her again in Heaven.  Perhaps she will have a slide show ready for me.

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