Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Letter to My Grandmother

Today is Saturday, August 25, 2012. The day my grandmother went to be with her husband and the Lord. She died of cancer, but has been living with Alzheimer's disease for many years. I wrote her this letter in 2009, before the Alzheimer's disease got so bad that I wouldn't have the chance to tell her how much she meant to me.

February 24, 2009

Dear Grandma,

Hello. It’ me, Kristina, your oldest grandchild! I am writing because I would like to tell you how much you mean to me. As I watch my children, Tyler (6) and Alyssa (3), interact with their grandparents, it reminds me of all of the wonderful fun we had while I was growing up.

I will always treasure the memories of staying at your house – especially during the summer! I remember beautiful summer sunrises and riding my bike up and down your driveway while you made breakfast or read the paper. I can still smell the fresh air.

I also loved our bike rides, when we would ride near the high school and stop to visit some of your friends. I loved walking down to the park to play … and walking or riding in your neighborhood in general. You know, one of the things I love about where I live now, is that it reminds me of your neighborhood with all of the beautiful mature trees. It makes me think of you often.

I also loved going swimming at “the pool.” I looked forward to our trips to the market and Randhurst – remember how we used to “people watch” – that was always so much fun. I still tell people about how we used to just sit and watch the crazy, interesting people! You were the master – you taught me that!

So many of my life’s memories are at your house. I feel so fortunate that we came down there every Sunday to spend time with you, Aunt Teresa and the kids. Remember how you used to always slip us a few bucks before we left to go back home? I loved that! How lucky were we to all be together like that?

For some reason, my mind is wandering to food – I always loved the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups you kept in the bottom drawer of the fridge! Yummy! And, of course, you always had chocolate milk for us! What a treat that was – and you knew it! While we’re on the subject of food – remember the liverwurst we used to eat? Oh, and the gyros!!! Ahhh, those were the days!

It was hilarious once the families grew so large that we needed two tables to sit everyone in your kitchen, but those family dinners were the best! We had so much fun!

Once I was in college, I absolutely loved that your house was right on the way back to ISU. It was wonderful to stop there on the way back and spend some time with you and Papa. It gave us time to look at old photo albums of your family, which was fun and interesting! I also loved all the goodies you sent me back with – especially the ham salad! It truly made me happy to have that little tradition with you for a while.

Now that I am an adult, I honor you by making a couple of your famed recipes – I always make your yummy sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, and I’ve finally gotten brave enough to try making your potatoes – the ones with the corn flakes on top! Soooo yummy!

I always enjoy our phone conversations. I love hearing your voice – it just transports me back in time. And you always remind me that I should be enjoying my children and my husband. Don’t worry, Grandma, I am! Thank you for the reminders! It really helps!

You have always played such a special role in my life. I can’t tell you with words how much I love you. You are the most amazing Grandmother anyone could ever ask for. I have no idea what I would have done without you. Thank you for always listening and being there for me.

I know it’s hard for you now with Papa gone, but I hope you can hang in there and try to enjoy every day as much as you can. Please know that I think of you often! Call me anytime, Grandma.

I love you!

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