Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Forever Young

It has been a rough couple of weeks.

So much going on, many things that very few people really know or understand. My heart is aching.

Today I was about to eat lunch when I glanced at my phone. I had a message.

 A message to call my mom.

 My heart sank.

My mom and I do talk but rarely during the school day.

And very rarely with her initiating it (because she knows how hectic my days are).

Honestly I didn't know what to think. She is recovering from surgery so I was just thinking maybe there was some sort of setback.

What I wasn't expecting was "I have some very sad news. Your Grandma R died..."

Um, what???

How can that be?

She was my "young grandma."

My dad's mom.

She never was one of those "textbook" grandmas.

Even when I was a teenager, she was still working.  Still running all over town to visit family and friends.  She had brown hair and very few wrinkles.  At least not that I saw.

I never saw her knit.  Not one time.

Grandma R was up on all of the entertainment news.  She watched tv shows and listened to mainstream music.

Many of my memories of her involve those trips to Michigan.

As soon as we got there, she took us grocery shopping. She bought us sugary cereals (which we didn't eat at home).  She bought us orange soda and later Mountain Dew (she loved her Pepsi).  She bought us (by us, I mean my sister and me) cheese balls, you know the fluorescent orange balls of fluff with no nutritional value.

At night, we would curl up on that guest bed with our orange soda and orange cheese balls.  And we would watch St. Elsewhere.

The funny thing is I don't drink or eat those things any more. But I still think of those days when I see them.

I was probably barely a teen when she let me try to drive her car. First time behind the wheel.  If she was scared, she never showed it.

When I was in my mid-teens and had a boyfriend, she would try to get me to eat green vegetables in exchange for some time to call him back home.

And one of her favorites of all time was the Peanut Buster Parfait at DQ.  We had those a time or two or three when we visited.

Later, when I was older, she actually moved to Arkansas. (with my Grandfather)

No matter how old I was, she welcomed me with open arms and a Mountain Dew when I visited.

When I got married, she was there.

And as often as she could, she came to each child's birthday party.

And even when my grandfather passed away, she was sad but she just kept going.

Every birthday, a card would arrive. Early.  With her handwriting.  I always knew her handwriting.

Grandma loved her family, Pepsi, elephants, and dolls.

Life was not always easy for her.  She lost both her mother and her husband (my grandfather) in my lifetime.

And I know in recent years she didn't feel her best.

For the first time, she wasn't running around, working, staying busy.

But to me she was still my "young grandma".

And now, she will forever be...

Miss you, Grandma.  

Hanging out with a young Child 2...she delighted in her grandkids and her greatgrandkids...
My grandmother with my grandfather...I miss them both
She loved all of our kids, "homegrown" or not.
And maybe even the great grand-dog
Hanging out at the Naturals game on a June evening
My dad with his mom

My grandmother with my sister at my wedding

Friday, April 18, 2014

T.T. (Thankful Thursday)

I am not really sure how I ended up on hiatus. It wasn't intentional. In fact, I have started (and stopped) numerous posts.  I guess I just needed a break. 

But I am back.

Ready or not.

And I figure the best way to come back is with a Thankful Thursday. I am doing this post in spite of the fact that it has been a very difficult week. I don't really want to say why.  Emotionally, it has just been tough.

But there is still a lot to be thankful for.


  • our house renovation being completed! (A few weeks now)
  • having the girls is so much quieter and peaceful around here. I am not saying they don't argue but at least when they do, they can retreat to their own rooms. :)
  • my van. It has been a week of running kids around. I may not love driving a minivan but I am thankful it gets me where I need to go.
  • "gentle" reminders from God 
  • our "trainer" for G-Fit (my exercise twice a week). He has the patience of a saint to work with us old out of shape teachers. :)
  • e-mails from former students sharing their successes.
  • hugs from students (both past and present)
  • a sweet e-mail from your child's teacher telling you about something good your child did...
  • our birthday boy! (Happy birthday, Child 4!)
  • our local Christian radio station
  • Pup's new haircut
  • getting to see my mom earlier this had been a while
  • calling my mom for parenting advice. Even if she doesn't have any to offer, she listens.
  • a little time alone to converse with child 1 on one of the "driving around" days...such a neat kid.
  • a husband who is willing to go out for pizza when I just don't have enough "oomph" to cook
  • a husband (same one :) who fills my car up with gas when my gas light comes on
  • sweet words from sweet friends
  • prayer
  • watching child 3 find a new passion
  • text messages from child 2
  • taxes done and paid for
  • hubby's flexible schedule so he can help attend to a sick child
  • a full pantry and fridge
  • green, green, everywhere (on the trees, on the ground...SO ready for a real spring)
  • shopping time with the kiddos
  • hearing my kinderkids read and watching them write
  • seeing the blood moon. Wow. That was amazing.
  • grocery shopping with my main man
  • my bed.  Which is where I am headed right now. :)
What are you thankful for this week?