Family & Grandma - Feb. 2008
My Grandma Evelyn died today. She was 96 years old.
She was an amazing, strong, determined and caring person.
My childhood summers usually involved a trip to Grandma & Grandpa's house for a week or so. I wish I remembered those trips better. And I wish there were more pictures to document the memories better.
Me at Grandma & Grandpa's house on the beloved swingI remember struggling to understand why we had to reuse the napkins, how a big pot of chicken flavored broth was going to be dinner, why she made logs out of newspaper and why every bottle and jar was saved. I later understood that she raised 7 children, many through the depression years, with little income and a lot of know-how.
I don't know much of her life story although I tried to figure it out by going through her drawers. I would pull out old, old glasses, jewelry, toys and pictures and imagine what she was like many years ago. I remember once finding a picture of my Great Great Aunt (I think) when she was about 8 or so and being astonished to find that she looked exactly like me! It was startling and yet comforting in a way.
The much loved three wheeler Grandma let me ride around the neighborhood.Grandma used to take me out with her on errands, to see her sisters and friends. To the church, to the store, anywhere really. I just loved her way, the way her hands looked, the way she talked to me. She never seemed to tire of me and my incessant talking. Except when it was nap time. I remember struggling to understand why two grown adults would sleep in the middle of the day!
She was religious about keeping her yard tidy. She would be out there every day picking out the bad weeds and grasses by hand. She used to say that she just didn't want to stop moving and picking things up - it was just her way.
She saved things, everything really. I loved to look through the collection of cards she had kept from all my Dad's birthdays. Some of them were 30 or 40 years old and I loved to read them and play with them. She also kept my Dad's old magic set - I played with that every summer and then eventually got to take it home with me.
I haven't seem much of her over the last 10 years but my love for her has stayed strong. She was consistent, calm and seemed to just keep on going no matter what the challenges. I'll miss her.