Thursday, August 26, 2010

Remembering Grandma D

This is Grandma & Grandpa DeBruyne
last summer at my brother Dan's wedding.
Grandma DeBruyne passed away overnight. She was technically my step-grandmother, although, in our family we didn't use that "step" title. Everyone was just family. The only reason I mention it now is to share the story of her love for me and my brother and sister, who were brought into her family when we were young.

I was about 10 when I met Grandma DeBruyne; my brother Erik was 6; and my sister Kara was 2. Grandma and Grandpa DeBruyne accepted us into their family like we were their own. Like we were always there. If an outsider attended a family event, they would never have known we weren't always there or meant to be there...because we were. We never, ever felt like "step" grandchildren.

How lucky were we? To be accepted into a family like that? Things could have been much more difficult for us if they weren't so loving. By the way, that family was huge! Grandma and Grandpa DeBruyne had 8 children. At the time there were 18 grandchildren!

We spent time with them on every holiday and many other family celebrations in between. Most of these celebrations were held at their welcoming home. Christmas was always one of our favorite times -- as much of the family gathered as could, and the gifts were many. I swear they took up a quarter of the living room!

Grandma and Grandpa DeBruyne always gave flashlights on Christmas. All kinds -- big and small and unique styles, too! They were different every year. We grandkids always looked forward to them. Grandma and Grandpa were very practical like that.

When I got married Grandma and Grandpa gifted me with the flowers for the wedding -- she owned and operated a flower shop. The flowers were absolutely beautiful -- any bride's dream! She pulled out all the stops! I was so lucky.

I'm so grateful for the time Grandma D was in my life. She was a very special person. So, it is with a heavy heart that I say, "Goodbye Grandma, and thank you so much for your love."

--Written with love and admiration and gratitude for Betty DeBruyne

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