tribute to my grandma and the hours of unintended amusement she brought

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hI lost my 2nd grandma recently. I wasn’t sure when and how to post about her death–because, is it tacky to post about death as a Facebook update? But then, my dad posted and my friends started dropping me condolences from his wall post.

My other grandma was taken by Lou Gehrig’s disease which started in her tongue. She was the first real death I experienced and it was before social media. She took me and my cousins on our first roller coaster. She would wrap my hair at night when she visited so I’d wake up to boing-y curls during a stage of “Little House on the Prairie” appreciation. But Grandma B might finally be the subject of post–only a different one.

This one is about Grandma F. She left wanting to go. We had spent many Sunday afternoons together where I heard many stories about my dad when he was younger and about my Grandpa F’s last days. She also would offer bits that she appreciated from her daily devotional reads. Comments on the current political situation. A run down of the meals she liked best.

During Tulip Time, when our school district has two half days off of school, I would head over to her place with a Subway sandwich or other snacks. We’d catch the parade on her television, pointing out people we might know.

Last summer, while I was home in the U.S. unknowingly, I was the last to bring her an ice cream sundae on her birthday. I learned later, this had been her third that day. She never mentioned it. We definitely enjoyed our sundaes!

I haven’t cried for her until today. When you are thousands of miles away on the other side of the earth when someone dies, it’s difficult to know how to feel when your every day life isn’t immediately affected.

This summer, I’ll be back in the small town where we both lived before I moved and she left it permanently. My grandma and I shared a love of the farmer’s market, but in late summer we also liked to make a stop at Bowerman Blueberries as well.

I found the following conversation I had with my grandma on an old blog post. An example, among many more, of what she brought to my life.

My Grandma calls me
July 11, 2007

market day: My grandma lost my yahoo email account so she called me (unusual, since she’s phone-shy) and left a message that the blueberries were in. We needed to get to the market whenever I possibly could go. Apparently, the news reported that recent drought conditions and the heat caused the berries to come in early and were predicted to shorten their harvest season.

My grandma and I love going to the Farmer’s Market in the summer. This is a conversation I had recently with her on the phone:

Grandma: What time would you like to go to the market, Jackie?
Me: What time is good for you, Grandma?
Grandma: Oh, I don’t know. What time do you want to go?
Me: No, Grandma, you pick a time. You decide.
Grandma: No, it’s okay.
Me: Well, how about 9 or 10? (Note: I like to sleep in during my summer vacation. Doesn’t that go without saying?)
Grandma: I was thinking more about 8.
Me: Eight it is!

My grandma was also famous for her pies–especially the apple. So on this auspicious 3/14, Happy Pi Day!


About jaclynfre

Tech integration specialist, recipe adventurer, fast walker, sporadic writer, aunt, sister and daughter
This entry was posted in family, transitions and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to tribute to my grandma and the hours of unintended amusement she brought

  1. Janell Prins says:

    This one made me chuckle. I loved the conversation you had with her. 🙂

    Sent from my iPhone


    • jaclynfre says:

      You can hear it, can’t you? 🙂 I’m not sure if that conversation or the one about how Dutchies (a type of apple grown in Michigan) would have been more popular had people only eaten them “TREE RIPENED!” is my favorite. No, It’s the Dutchies conversation. So awesome!

  2. jhaworthoy says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother, Jackie. You put it very well about being so far away and having your life not changed where you are now…but knowing that your grandmother has died is still with you. Your story of your conversation with her is touching. I like that you brought her a sundae…it reminded me of my mother…who would often have a hot fudge sundae for lunch and still remained slim. Your grandmother sounds like a special person…especially in your life, and you have written a great tribute to her.

    • jaclynfre says:

      Thank you so much for reading this tribute!! I wish I could have shared more, but often the small moments: snatches of conversation, shared appreciation, and unexpected connections are the snapshots that capture our memories best. Thanks for sharing the memory of your mom’s love for hot fudge sundaes as well. Did they have Spanish peanuts and whipped cream on top? That was the kind we had from Captain Sundae. 🙂

      My favorite fact about my Grandma is that she was the only person among her siblings to have polio as a young girl and yet she had the longest life. In fact, we thought she was survived by a brother who lived as a bit of a hermit in a remote area of Canada. Unexpectedly, when the family attempted to contact him, we found out he had passed away several months prior.

      Also–my grandma’s name was Jane. Her mom wanted to call her Janine, but everyone in her small town thought that was too fancy. So she changed the name to Jane.

  3. Karen Wlaker says:

    I appreciated reading this post Jackie! So very touching! Luv ya! Aunt Karen

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