Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandmom!

My Grandmom is an extraordinary woman.

There is absolutely no way that I could ever do justice to her in a post, but I will try my best anyway because that is the very least that she deserves.

I was very fortunate to have had the experience of living in the same house with my grandparents growing up. We moved into their house when I was 2 years old. For a time we all lived together in one space, but eventually an addition was built onto the house and my Grandmom and Papa moved into the back apartment and we stayed in the main part of the house.

That is the type of people my Grandparents have always been; always willing to do anything and everything to help someone in need...especially when that someone happens to be family.

Not only did they give up their home to us, but later on my Grandmom watched all of us so that my Mom could have a job. She also watched all of my cousins (even the cousins from my Mom's side of the family) and just about every other kid in the neighborhood at one time or another. I honestly can not remember a time when my Grandmom's house has not been full of children. Even to this day, she is still babysitting on a regular basis. Not too shabby for an 82 year old woman.

I have spent a lot of time with my Grandmom over the years. Time that has given me millions of memories to cherish. I can sit for hours and hours and listen to my Grandmom tell stories. She has plenty to tell.

She and my Grandfather had the kind of romance that you only see in old movies.
I wish that I had copies of her photos on my computer to share with you. They are just unbelievably perfect. The one picture that stands out in my memory is this photo of the two of them when they were very young...I'm pretty sure that it was taken in the 1940's while my Grandfather was still at the Naval Academy, but I might be wrong. Anyway, it is a picture of the two of them on a sailboat looking exactly like a pair of movie stars. You would seriously think that it was a still picture from a film.

What else can I tell you about my Grandmom? It is so hard to sum up an entire lifetime of memories in one little post. I suppose the best thing to do is to just list a few of the many things that I love about her.

  • All of the times that we sat together in her rocking chair while she rubbed my back until I fell asleep
  • She taught me to love classical music at a very young age
  • The fact that she absolutely loves it when I play with her hair and scratch her back
  • Memories of going through her jewelry box and listening to the stories that went along with each piece...and the fact that as I got older she would sometimes give some of them to me.
  • She makes the best "Old Settler's Beans" on the face of the planet
  • She lets me be who I am and loves me for it even though we have vastly different views on life
  • She has never had a "job" but has always done volunteer work of some kind
  • She has hand-knitted a Christmas stocking for every single new member of our family starting with my Dad 58 years ago
  • I just love that she used to iron my Papa's underwear for him
  • The memory of coming home from college for the first time and listening to her talk about "Beaver shots"
  • Watching her love my daughter as much as, if not more than she loves me

I could go on and on for days but I'll just leave it at that for the moment.

Happy Birthday Grandmom!

I love you with all my heart and always will.

Update: Thanks to my brother I can now show you just how glamorous my Grandmother is!
(and save you from having to use the link he posted in the comments)
Thanks Ray!

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6 fabulous responses:

Sandra said...

Happy Birthday to your grandma :)

raygaul said...

Happy birthday grandmom!
I hope this photo gives you a sense of the movie star appeal... i don't have the one shannon mentions

Rach (Mommy Learns to Blog) said...

What a beautiful tribute . . . Happy Birthday Grandmom! She is just as glamorous now as she was then!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Grandmom was crying and so touched by this wonderful tribute. It definitely brought tears to my eyes too. But are you surprised?

P.S. I may be a bit prejudiced, but your writing is great!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Grandmom!

She really was a looker back in her day. Quite pretty. I really love looking at older photos.

Thanks for sharing, Shannon!

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness!! shes just beautiful there - like a famous actress or something...just RADIANT.

I loved your tribute to her.