Sunday, February 17, 2008


I've had a bit of a blogging slump the past few weeks. My grandmother (Mom's Mom) died on Feb 7th, 2008. We'd been expecting it to happen, but it still didn't make it easier. My grandfather (Mom's Dad) died Dec. 15th, 2007 - just 7 weeks and 5 days before my grandmother. I'm 41 years old, I've grown up with this set of grandparents for my entire life. I'm the eldest grandchild. My youngest sister is 28 & the middle sister is 34.

I lost my grandfather on my Father's side in 1976. I was 10 years old. My grandmother in 1994, I was 28. WOW, I hadn't realized that I was just 28, the same age my baby sister is now.

I was profoundly affected by the death of my grandfather in 1976. I loved him so much. I was his only grandchild for the first 6½ years of my life and I followed him around as much as I possibly could when we went to visit. He was so tall and thin. He took one giant step to my 10. He always had a butterscotch drop in the pocket of his shirt. He took me down to the caf­­e where he talked cattle and where I drank a milkshake for breakfast and had a piece of toast and an egg.

My Dad's Mom was great. She used to make the best swiss steak. It was my favorite thing that she made, so of course she made it every time we came to Nebraska. She loved to play games, too. Board games, crossword puzzles, cards. We played Cross Over the Bridge so many times I can still hear the sound of the games dice roller. She was a Soap Opera watcher - I think she watched Days of Our Lives, if I'm not mistaken. She told me that she watched the very first episode.

My mothers parents lived nearby and we saw them all the time. Grandpa worked hard and Grandma made great dinners and I loved her Pecan Pie. They had a pool in their basement with an intercom that Grandma used to turn on while she worked in the kitchen and listen to us playing in the pool. They had a statue of an old seaman wearing a yellow slicker. Growing up I remember standing next to that statue wanting to be taller than it one day. We used to sit at the kitchen table after family gatherings and play scrabble. I was horrible at scrabble. I should have figured out then, at those family gatherings, that I couldn't spell. No wonder I tended to watch. My grandmother, my aunts and my cousin who is just a year or so younger than me would rule the scrabble table. They were so good. I was always in awe of the words they came up with, and so quickly!

I can see my Grandmother sitting at that table, pencil in her hand with a piece of paper and she'd say something like..."You know Kris, if you switched the letters in this word, you can make this word." I would say "Ya, I know" and she would say "Yes, you mean Yes." The things that stand out. How funny.

Grandpa would sit in his recliner in the family room with all of the men and they'd watch football games or some other sports, but grandpa hardly made it a few minutes before he was sound asleep in the chair. I remember my grandfather as a very hard worker and as a man who fell asleep in his chair. It is a very happy, comforting memory.

I now miss them all so much. All 4 of them. I don't think I truly understood the magnitude of losing my first set of grandparents because I didn't get to see them very often, once a year if we were lucky. Now that they are all gone, I am finding that I think of them as a collective group. I want to know more about them, I want to know what their favorite foods were, if they had a special song that they danced to, if they knew that I was so proud to be their grandkid.

There they all are - It was my 4th birthday. The year, 1970. Baby Go-Bye-Bye is in the octagon shaped box. Even though I don't look like it, I had a very nice day! The woman in the red dress is my Grandma Corlett, then Grandpa Corlett, my Grandma Henry is next and my Grandpa Henry is last. I look like the Corlett side, mostly Grandma Corlett. I have her body shape, too, but we don't need to go there right now.

I'm so glad that I loved them all. Love, your granddaughter.

1 comment:

Kim Thomas said...

I'm sorry to hear this. I miss my grandparents more than anything.