Goodbye, Grandma

A favorite picture of my grandparents, taken a few years ago at my sister’s wedding.

I’ve been away for a few weeks, and last night as I wrote my post for the Mood Sewing Network, it felt very strange to write about sewing again without acknowledging the reason for my absence. I lost my beloved grandmother about a week and a half ago, and while I generally keep personal stuff off this blog, I just feel like she was too much a part of my life to let her passing go without comment. I just want to share some photos and a few things about her to honor her memory, if that’s OK, before diving back into my regular posts.

Pretty sure it’s Grandma’s fault that all her kids and grandkids are crazy animal lovers!

My parents were very young when I was born, so my grandma was really involved in my childhood, more than most grandparents. I was even lucky enough to spend part of my childhood living next door to her. She was unbelievably energetic, hardworking, and selfless. If something needed to be done, or if she thought it needed to be done, she just did it, regardless of how difficult or unpleasant the task was (don’t get me started on the time Man Friend and I stopped to visit her and found her, well into her 80s, at the top of a rickety ladder cleaning out her gutters!!). She took care of huge gardens and canned and froze tons of vegetables and fruits for the extended family to enjoy (I don’t think I ate a store-bought vegetable until I started eating school lunches!). She drove us all around town, she babysat all the time, and she went to all our school concerts and sports games.

It was a family joke that my grandma never cooked- aside from her holiday jello salads, I don’t think she ever made me anything other than instant oatmeal or Kraft macaroni & cheese. But she and my grandpa were on a first-name basis with every diner waitress in town!

My grandma on the right with her sister, Marilyn.

My grandma had a hard life with lots of heartbreak and sorrow, but she was a very strong person and her response to tough situations was also to find a way to be of use to others. You could count on her for anything! She loved music and dancing, and found a lot of joy in those things.

Her wedding day, in 1946.

I’m going to miss her so very, very much, but I know that I’m lucky to have had such an amazing woman in my life for so many years. I’m so grateful for all that she’s done for me, and for her example of generous living. I’m grateful for all the great memories I have of her and I’ll never forget her.

I love you, Grandma!

130 responses

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your grandma sounds like a lovely lady – and I can see the family resemblance in the beautiful pictures you posted.

    I can understand how you must be feeling because I was really close to my granny, who died almost nine years ago. My mum was a single parent, but granny was a huge part of my life, along with my aunties – the family joke is that I don’t know who my real mum is. It was incredibly difficult at the time, and I still miss her, but it does get easier – I promise.


  2. My condolences, Sonja. Thank you for sharing about your amazing grandma. It’s almost uncanny as I was reading the first few paragraphs because it was as if I’d written it myself! Right down to the veggies and living next door! The only difference is that my grandma is quite the cook and baker. My grandma is fortunately still alive, despite having two cancerous tumors removed and hip replacement surgery, all in the last 4 years. Sometimes wish I still lived next door.


  3. i’m really sorry to hear about your grandma. these are a lovely few words and pictures, especially on her wedding day. my godfather passed away recently and i’ve found it really helps remembering all the good times i spent with him, like you’ve done here ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. I’m so sorry you lost your grandmother. I’m sure she knew you thought all those wonderful things about her. That’s a wonderful gift to leave behind.


  5. Oh Sonja, that’s so sad. Thank you for sharing such a special, kick ass woman with us. That photo with the cat has me in giggles! What a cutie. Or her wedding day – what elegance!


  6. So sorry for your loss, Sonja. Your grandma sounds like such an amazing and inspiring woman! It’s wonderful to hear how determined she was and how much she valued and cared for her family. A great example for the rest of us to look up to. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing such a special post, and hope you’re hanging in there.


  7. Ah, big hugs to you. She sounds like an amazing woman who was pretty fearless and extremely generous with her time and love. I’m sorry she’s gone but she’ll never be forgotten xxx


  8. So sorry for your loss. I just lost my grandmother recently as well. I really enjoyed reading this lovely post, what a wonderful way to be remembered. Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman!


  9. Ohh, I’m so sorry for your loss! I’m glad you had so many good times with her, but i know it never feels like enough. Take care.


  10. Oh, Sonja. I’m sorry. She sounds like an absolutely fabulous person. Then again, after knowing you—one of the kindest and most thoughtful people on the Internet—I can’t say that I’m at all surprised. Do take care.


  11. Oh my goodness…I am so sorry. I feel your loss. I have lost one grandmother, and one great grandmother, both of whom I loved dearly. My other grandmother is still alive and well, and honestly, she is one of the closest people to me. I have spent half my life with her. She’s so close, as if we were sisters. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without her, and don’t want to think about the day when she is no more. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ I am very sorry. Your grandmother seemed like a wonderful lady. Thank you for sharing a part of your life, through those photos. I enjoyed viewing them. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  12. I’ve been off the grid and just now trying to catch up in everyone’s blogs. I’m sorry to hear about your grandma but I’m glad you have so many happy memories of her and with her to cherish and pass on to future generations. The love felt for those dearest will continue thru life with you, I hope it comes to comfort you in time too.


  13. Pingback: 10,962 Days | urban quietude

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