About my Grandma

Last Monday night I was in the middle of writing a blog post about the baby and the weekend and a bunch of silly things going on. I was about to hit publish when I found out from my sister that my Grandma had passed away from a heart attack. It was such a shock, and I cried there on the couch, saying Oh no, no! and other kinds of things that don't make sense when one hears surprising, sad news. She was in her 80's, and relatively healthy. She had a lot of life left in her, and it didn't seem right that she was gone. It still doesn't.

On Friday morning we left for her funeral in Michigan, where my she lived, where my mom grew up, and where I was born. I got to see my sisters and their husbands and babies, and so much family-- some that I wonder if I'll ever see again. It was all very bittersweet.

She had a beautiful funeral service that included some of her favorite hymns. I cried through them all. The pastor started out his sermon and described her as "soft-spoken."

And I thought, What? No. Not my Grandma.

My Grandma's name was Esther, and took every opportunity she could get to introduce herself as Queen Esther. She was feisty and quick and hilarious, and she didn't seem to be afraid of much. The first time she met Ryan, she sewed up a hole in the crotch of his jeans. He was nursing a cold at the time, and she offered to rub Vicks on his feet. Soft-spoken people don't do stuff like that. But my Grandma did.

She was born and raised on a farm, and had the world's best stories to tell about it. Then, in her teens she moved to Chicago with her sister to make money for their family, and found a job as a secretary in what I imagine to be a Mad Men type of office. She always told my sisters and me about the time a married man in the office slipped her a note and made a pass at her. Then she'd describe how she ripped up the note and ceremoniously tossed it into the garbage can, right in front of the guy.

She dated her cousin (a Gregory Peck look-alike) before meeting and marrying my Grandpa (a Gene Kelly look-alike) ((not too shabby, Grams!)) She had three kids and collected clown figurines and taught me how to make the best brown-butter chocolate frosting in all the land. She sang me to sleep countless times, and once gave me a sponge bath when I was very sick. She always stayed in my room when she'd come to visit, and my closet would smell like her perfume for days after she left.

The last time I talked to her, two or three weeks ago, I admitted that I was a little nervous about delivering the baby. Before I could go on, she rattled off three or four Scripture passages from memory. She had the strongest faith. She made me feel so much better. And then, before we hung up the phone, she promised to buy me a housecoat and nightie for the hospital. Funny little lady.

Now she's gone-- my mom is left without a mom, and I'm left without a very special Grandma. And then, when I start to feel sad, I remember she's in heaven with my Grandpa and my daughter and lots of loved ones. I couldn't be happier for her.


some quiet moments from the weekend ::

{The extent of my fall decorating. It makes no sense to pull out any of my pretty fall things, only to have to pack them back up when we move. Though, I do feel like I'm disappointing Martha Stewart. Oh the guilt!} {You know those black and orange Halloween candies-- the taffy and peanut butter things? As a child, all the old ladies in my neighborhood passed them out for trick or treating, and I hated them. Now I'm married to a man who LOVES them.}

 {How the boppy is being used. For now.}

 {A quick Saturday lunch in-between errands. Ryan prefers American cheese, while I like a good sharp cheddar, although it doesn't matter to me as much as long as my sandwich comes out slightly burnt.}

{Organizing baby stuff. For the fortieth time.}

{Aaaand the forty-first. Oh! And our rocker came in the mail. A good spot for the swaddled sock monkey to rest.}


the weekend

Happy Labor Day! Let us all take a moment to be thankful that I have not gone, nor do I plan to go into labor today.

. . . 

Thank you. We had a wonderful weekend! Did you? We saw loads of family-- on Saturday we headed north to see Ryan's brother Aaron play in a soccer tournament. But then he sprained his ankle (OH RON.) ((feel better!)) so we watched his team win without him. In between soccer games and family stuff, Ryan's mom threw us a cute little baby shower at the park. Lots of family and friends came to celebrate, and it was so sweet. We're crossing so many things off our list of baby needs, thanks to some very generous folks. Hooray!

And today! OH TODAY. Today was hot. And I've had it with the heat, did you know? Sometime in the early afternoon of this 2012 Labor Day I had meltdown #2 of the day. Poor Ryan went in for a romantic kiss and ended up with a positively soaked shoulder. (Sweat and tears.) Something about the heat makes me very irrational, and all the scary and stressful things going on in my life fill up in my brain all at once. 

I had a good cry. And then I felt better! So we went to the beach. 

The water has warmed up enough to still be shockingly cold, but not body-numbing. We went in as deep as our necks, then let the waves scoot us back towards the beach, little by little. It was wonderful and so good for me. We left feeling slightly sea-weedy, but so refreshed.

Our plan for the remainder of the evening is to celebrate the end of the last summer with just the two of us. Oreo milkshakes, air mattress in the living room, and a fan blowing directly on me-- that'll do it. So long, summer!