Saturday, February 27, 2010

I remember

Lydia coloring with my Grandma Winter Christmas 2008

Everyone has had hard things in their life. Relationships they wish were mended, weaknesses they wish were stronger, situations they wish were different. Well, as I sit here and write this the hard thing in my life is my Grandma Winter. My Grandma Winter is my dad's mom and my whole life growing up she lived on the same farm as me, a half mile away on the other side of the trees. I saw her almost every day growing up. When I was a little girl she watched my sister and I 3 days a week when my mom worked at the bank. When I got a little older we were my dad's right hand "men". We'd run to Harvey and get parts for the broken machinery. We'd go check cows together or just let him boss us around with whatever needed to be done and talk about how he needed to relax a little bit. She was my baby sitter and she was my friend. To say we were close is an understatement. Right now my Grandma suffers from Ahlzeimers. Her mind is failing and she is confused. It has robbed her of her purpose in life and it is hard. I talked to her tonight on the phone and even though she wasn't completely sure who I was and she couldn't put together a whole sentence I know she felt loved. I sent my love through the phone and I hope it was enough. I prayed for her tonight and I hope it was enough, I'm awake in the middle of the night wishing I could do more, be there for her more, love her more. It is hard. And I hope it is enough. I'm not there, I can't change the situation and so for tonight I decided a letter to her to celebrate the good times I remember will have to do.

Dear Grandma,
How are you tonight? I am good but I miss you. I think of all the fun times we've had and all the things you're taught me. I remember going to your house as a little girl and playing dress-up with Jessie upstairs and you telling us we were "fancy dames". I remember riding my bike over on a hot, dusty, summer day and sitting at your table to chat about anything and nothing all at the same time. If I had something exciting to tell, we would celebrate with fresh baked cookies and if something was bothering me you would listen. I can hear you telling me "This too shall pass. . ." Most of the time we would just sit at your kitchen table and talk or look at what was cute or ugly in the latest JC Penney's catalog. Usually I would talk and you would listen. I remember the smell of vinegar on a freshly scrubbed kitchen floor as we played cards for hours. We'd play Rummy 500 and I think most of the time you let me win. As I got older you were always there. I never questioned that and it was just the truth. You were always there for me. What a wonderful gift to give someone, always being there for them. Thank you for that.

Some the sweetest memories I have is when we worked together. We would be armed with our sticks and farmers caps (to keep the sun out of our eyes) and help dad sort cattle. For some reason we thought those sticks were going to save us if a cow really came after us. (who were we kidding:) I remember taking lunch to the guys in the field or running here or there where ever the guys needed us to go, taking trucks out to the field or getting parts in Harvey. I remember sitting in the passenger side of a dusty, red, Ford pickup listening to an old Johnny Cash song and watching you smile with agreement as we talked about what a good song it was. And then there was your food. Oh how I remember the wonderful, huge meals you made. Whether it was chicken and strudels, kuchen or just a plain old hamburger. Everything tastes better at Grandma's right. I like to cook and I love to cook for others. I'm pretty sure I got that from you. Thanks for teaching me the joy in serving others.

Grandma, you are such a big part of me and I am blessed for having you in my life. Every person should be so lucky as to have a Grandma who is always there for them, loves them no matter what and thinks they can do no wrong. I love you so much and now that you are having a hard time I want to be there for you. I pray that you feel closer to God in these tough days than ever before. I pray you feel Him wrap his arms around you and you know you are loved. I know you don't always remember everything anymore but dont' worry because I remember. I remember and I'm thankful for you. Take Care.

With all my love,