13 Dec

My grandmother passed away last Thursday.


She was beautiful. Sharp-tongued, but kind. Funny. Smart as a whip.



This had been a rough year for my grandma. For my mom, too, who had to take care of her. But, it hasn’t really clicked that she is gone. For good.


Due to geography, I usually only saw Granny a few times a year. Always over Thanksgiving. Usually over Christmas. And, once or twice more during the year, whenever I would make it back to South Dakota…or, on the rare instance when my grandparents made the trek in to visit all of us.

Unfortunately, this was a bad year and I didn’t even see Granny until October. I had this PANICKED FEELING that I must go back to visit. I hadn’t seen my mom and dad since July, and I just wanted to go home. I am so glad I did go, because it was one of the only times that I had my parents to myself (usually, there are just too many of us around, and I don’t get quality time with my mom), and because I got to spend a few precious hours with Granny. We went out for dinner at the local restaurant, and I think this is probably the last photo that she was in.


She looks so sad to me, and I think she probably was. I don’t really know the extent of “what was wrong” with her. She’d always been sick. My whole life. She was hospitalized as a baby (according to her sister, because of the dust storms of ’33), and for a while, they didn’t even think she would survive infanthood. She has had asthma her entire life and dealt with that. And, she was a worrier. Oh, boy. Granny could worry. I am fairly certain that that is where I get that from!  This past year was hard.  She just never felt quite right.  But, we didn’t realize that that would mean she would die.  It seemed like, maybe, she would be okay.  We all got to see her over Thanksgiving…and then, not even a week later, she was gone.

Despite her health history, she lived a full and wonderful life. An ordinary, extraordinary life. She and my grandpa raised three kids and built a successful business. They traveled the world. They took us kids on a few trips, too, including my first trip out of the country, to visit my uncle and cousins in Honduras in 1995.

She was always there for us kids, and for my mom. I think they had a difficult relationship, at times, but they always loved each other. To us, though, Granny just came to all of our sporting events, all our school events, all our life events. She and my grandpa were there for everything.

We have been incredibly lucky to have her in our lives, and we are oh so sad that she is gone.









2 Responses to “”

  1. Melinda December 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Dang, those pics of your mom crying made me tear up! I am sorry to hear about your grandma. 😦

    • erin January 4, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

      Thanks, Melinda!

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