With her first great-grandchild, 2004.
Four generations! 2005
My mom's mom died a year ago.
At the time, I was still grieving the loss of my brother, Joel, who, at the age of 20, decided his life was over and shot himself in the head with my dad's .308. I am still grieving my brother -- no doubt I always will -- but the loss of my Gram is becoming more real to me. She was young -- she became a mom at a young age and then became a grandmother at the age of 39 when I was born.
My grandfather died in 1992, just about the time I really took an interest in my grandparents as people. I remember my grandfather was full of laughs. He wasn't a large man, but his presence and his voice filled a room. My gram was just that same way. She loved having fun and was always quick to giggle and laugh. I never remember her being idle. She was always doing something: walking, working outside, painting, traveling, going here or there with this person or that. Her life was full of activities and friends.
She particularly enjoyed painting. She was in several art leagues and almost always had some kind of showing, or art festival, on her calendar of events. Every birthday or holiday card that we received from her was either painted by her, or was a print of one of her works.
As long as I can remember, Gram (and Grampa, too, when he was alive) spent only the warmest months in Pennsylvania. They were usually here from late spring to late summer or early fall, and the rest of the time she (they) spent in Florida, or traveling around the United States or Canada. Actually, there were a good many years where they were only in PA for a few weeks per year, when they owned Green Bay Camp in Cloyne, Ontario. They would live and work there in the summer and then would winter in Florida, just stopping by in PA on there way to and from.
Anyway, all of my memories of her are full of fun -- playing with her button stash while she sewed, singing Puff the Magic Dragon and Green, Green Grass of Home while she played on the organ, helping her clean cabins and pretending to mind the store, listening to the almost constant (but strangely comforting) sounds of her and Grampa bickering, going through her multitude of photo albums and hearing all about her latest adventures, laughing, joking, playing cards, eating sticky buns, looking for Burrowing Owls, gathering together for the annual Labor Day picnic.
I miss you, Gram.
Credits: Papers, elements and alpha from Amy Teets' "Sun Porch" and Shabby Princess' "Vintage Florals." Paper tear templates from Diane L. Miller. Georgia font. Adobe PS/CS.