30 Years - Year 12

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 3 Comments A+ a-

Do you remember when I linked to Uncle Randy’s site here? Well, our local newspaper did an article on him this week.** A very well-written article. It made me cry. “Why?” you ask. He talked very poignantly about his grandmother, my great-grandmother, Grammie. As he so aptly said, “She was the cornerstone of our family.” Oh, so true. Even 11 years later, I still miss her.

There can be no reminiscing without being reminded of Grammie and all she was to me. She is in every memory of Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, any holiday, our road trips to Denver once or twice a month after church to visit with her, baking, cooking, her teasing ways, her laughter, the way she smelled, the way she loved, the way she opened her home to everyone. I have so many memories of my beloved Grammie, and its so hard to pinpoint just one. I don’t have a direct memory of this happening during Christmas of my 12th year, but it happened every year.

For the majority of my growing up years, there were six of us cousins; the four girls and our two male cousins. We were raised more like siblings than cousins, goodness knows we fought like siblings. Every Christmas we’d trek down to Grammie’s house for Christmas dinner and more presents. The six of us were absolutely forbidden to go downstairs to see the Christmas tree. But that didn’t stop us from trying.

During my 12th year, Christine would’ve been nine, Allison would’ve been seven, Courtney and Daniel were five, and Ryan was two. As the oldest cousin, it was my job to organize the recon operation. (Truthfully, as the oldest, it was my job to know better, but this was much more fun.) It usually played out with Christine and I trying to distract the adults long enough for any of the younger ones to run downstairs to get a peek.

Sometimes we’d succeed, and we’d all gather upstairs in one of the bedrooms where the successful ones would share what they’d seen. Other times, one of the adults would catch us, usually Grammie who often sat at the dining room table in direct view of the staircase leading downstairs. There’d be a half-joking scolding, a warning that all presents would be taken back to the store, and a threat not to do again. And every year, we’d do it all over again.

I miss her, sometimes with a physical ache. She died in her 100th year, living from 1898 to 1998. She had the most amazing memory, even to the very end. And yes, she was the one who kept our family together. If I can live to be half the woman she was, then I will have lived a successful life.

** Another press release for Uncle Randy here.
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I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

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Christine
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8:46 PM delete

Okay, I still cry when I think about her or read memories about her. I miss those years.

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Anonymous
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8:53 PM delete

Oh yeah I totally remember doing that! I can't believe it's been over 10 years since she passed. And you made me cry reading this! I miss her so much!
alli

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Anonymous
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10:35 PM delete

Jenn, thanks for this beautiful tribute to Grammie. We never know how we effect other's lives and the generations behind our own. Grammie was a special woman, who touched all of our lives. I miss her so much too......
Love, Mom

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