The last time I saw my grandma was six years ago at my sister’s wedding, before that it had been like ten years since I had seen her. I grew up in Wisconsin so most holidays and celebrations were spent at my grandparent’s house or the cabin on the lake. And boy was it fun driving to the lake as a kid. As kids we loved seeing all the Amish buggys and driving super duper fast up the steep hill only to go flying like we were on a roller coaster. Dads are the best when it comes to fun in the car! If I were to go back now I’m sure that hill is so tiny. I remember watching my uncles shoot the fireworks over the lake on the 4th while we sat with Grandma on swing. So many memories with Grandma at the lake.
I remember going to Grandma Raab’s on Easter, eager to search for my Easter basket. All 30 grandkids had Easter baskets and they were all in different spots. Hiding. Now thinking about this, it must’ve taken a long time to hide all those baskets. I remember the homemade chocolate bunnies and peanut butter eggs that were in each basket. No candy was store bought, except the jelly beans. She made little crocheted bunny poopers for the jelly beans to go into. I remember the sugar eggs with little pictures in them. My grandma had talent! I remember going on our Easter Egg hunt for eggs filled with money. Big kids in the back of the house and little kids in the front.
I remember playing the piano for Grandma, Spanish Eyes, she taught it to my sister and I. She was always so interested in our talents and especially enjoyed it when we spoke in German to her. I remember going to Grandma’s and playing on her stationary bike. My sister would stand on one pedal and I on the other, and we’d see how fast we could go. I remember Grandma’s drawer of cards and playing Go Fish and Old Maid over and over. I remember the pool table and jute box in the basement and playing ‘Hooked on a Feelin.’
I remember my baptism day, and even though my Grandparents were Catholic, they were there, happy for my special day. I remember the cake with the sugar hands that she made for me. I remember all of the birthday cards she sent with little pieces of confetti that came tumbling out. JD found a letter she recently wrote to me and as he opened it he was thrilled to see confetti falling to the ground. I couldn’t help but chuckle and smile. As young girls, my sisters and I wrote letters to my grandma very diligently, maybe secretly loving the confetti filled letter that we would receive in return.
My grandma loved her faith and was willing to share spiritual quotes and thoughts she found that we might enjoy. I wish I would’ve done the same. My grandma was an only child and very well educated. She went to college and went on to receive her Master’s at Stanford. She taught in Mexico for a few years and then moved back to Wisconsin, where she met my grandpa.
I will always remember her soft voice and her warm hugs. The day she went back to the hospital for the last time I had this thought to call her and I so wished I did. To hear her sweet voice one last time.
I will always remember her laugh and sense of humor. After she’d been in the hospital for a few days, on hospice, she woke up in the morning and joked that she was bummed she was still here. My grandpa worked with cows for a living and therefore smelled like manure and had boots that were covered in it. Near the end, she was in and out and at a moment of alertness, someone asked if she would recognize Grandpa, her response, “He’s wearing a white coat and doesn’t have manure on his shoes.”
My birthday will be a little more special to me as she passed away that morning. My dad had just visited her and was able to give her a blessing. I know it’s not a coincidence that she held on all week to see my dad, her eldest son, and to receive that blessing from him.
I’m so grateful for priesthood and the knowledge I have of Heavenly Father’s plan. Because I will see my grandma and grandpa again someday. And it will be a wonderful reunion.
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