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,
Valerie


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW - what a special way to remember all that your grandma did for all us. It's hard to look at that picture of grandma and Lydie and think that she looked that much better only a little over a year ago. I guess when I see her almost every day I didn't see the decline, even if I felt it.

I am so glad you girls have such a wonderful grandma, and even though she isn't the same as she was when you were growing up - you will always have those memories.

Thank you for sharing.

I love you.

Mom

Shannon Joy said...

This is beautiful Valerie. Just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Valerie,

I am sitting here crying with you and for you because I know what it is like to have the most wonderful grandma in the world and what it feels like to know you are losing her. It's OK to cry too because that is part of the healing process of loss. Always remember you will always have those precious memories and she will always be with you in your heart. I still talk to gramma Carrie everyday and I know she is listening... Gramma Addie is still with you and still has gimmers of memory so just cheresh those moments and God will take care of the rest.. He is with her, holding her hand every moment of the day. That is his promise.

Love you

Mom S.

Anonymous said...

Valerie,

What a great post. So many special memories. I feel like I relived all the stories you used to tell in our dorm room about your grandma. She is a really special lady and so lucky to have a family that loves her so much. Thanks for sharing them again.

Tina

Mama Misty said...

Thanks for writing this!

I love that you use Gmail too :)
It's hard being vulnerable and transparent sometimes but you wrote a beautiful letter to Grandma. Thanks for sharing. Love you hun!

Misty

Anonymous said...

Valerie,
I'm crying with you. Our Grandma's are the best...we just need to remember to be the same and pass on these memories as we make MANY more. Love you Penny
PS love the comments on all the kids & of course THE HAIR!!!!