August 29, 1934 - October 14, 2021
November 13, 2021
I have so many memories of Grandma, but more than specific memories I have lingering feelings of those memories. Our minds tend to focus on specific details and perhaps over time embellish some and deemphasize others. Regardless the feelings are real. Perhaps my most early memory of Grandma was when I was about 6-years old and it was my mom, Patricia’s birthday. I was under the very clear impression, due to the information told me directly from Grandma that Grandma was 28-years old, but mom’s cake had 27 candles on it. What!?!? I asked Grandma to clarify, and with a head-full of grey roots she boldly held onto her statement that she was “28-years old” and then a slow wry smile crossed her face as I realized how important both a sense of humor and math were. Grandma taught me how to sew, make patterns from scratch, and helped me make many, many wardrobe pieces and fix even more mistakes. She tended to last minute calls and visits for mistakes like snags in materials too delicate for my dull machine needle and ambitious plans, and pieces of fabric laying in different directions at the end after far too many hours of work because I had not yet learned the importance of checking the drape. And when I say last minute, I mean last minute. She did her best to listen and help through my panicked explanations while a countdown to an opening night performance where I was responsible for a lead character's custom being completely messed-up. Another last-minute consult ended in a trip to Nordstrom the day of prom for a dress replacement. Even after Google and becoming a mom, I called her regarding a fabric stain obtained during a “one-too many” drinks cocktail event. I will miss Grandma's simple and calm instructions and the subtle laugh that often accompanied it. Perhaps my most enduring and endearing memories are that of the countless hours of hot kitchen’s full of women doing holiday meal prep or assembly line food canning. Grandma was the connection between all those women; my amazing mom always among them. Oh, the things I learned about life, work, family, and some very eye opening “woman talk.” I remember being consistently shooed out of these steamy kitchens and references to “little ears listening.” But eventually, I would slowly move back into the kitchen. This was when I, silently listening, learned how to efficiently use a paring knife and how to preserve food. Though to this day I wish I could call Grandma to make certain I was doing my canning correctly in fear of botulism. Grandma’s life was not an easy one, and it certainly was not easy for those around her. But it is through her life that her most important gift to me was granted, my own mother. And through my mother, myself. And through me, my daughter. History is often said to have been written by men. But “her-story” is that of generations of women bringing up the next with the resources they have at the time. It is this linage of hardship and heartache; spontaneous laughter, opportunities, teaching and endless maternal spirit that creates the tenacity of personality to carry each of us through life. I am grateful for all Grandma gave me. Grandma you will be missed. You are missed. And, you will never be forgotten.
November 7, 2021
One of my favorite memories of mom was sitting on the kitchen counter reading to her from my school reader book and smelling home made bread. She would always make a batch of biscuits and yummy cinnamon rolls!! She could listen to me read and bake at the same time. She always knew when I made a mistake in my reader. ? and still I have a love of reading books. Thanks mom. I will think of you every time I read to my grandchildren.