The one thing that I forgot to mention, which I will attribute to pregnancy brain, is that Grandma thinks we are THE most good looking family since the Kennedys. I mean, she's not half wrong. Like Gramps used to always quip "What would be do if we got an ugly one??". Ask every grandchild and they can tell you the celebrity Grandma swore we looked like. (I was Kathy Ireland.. no big deal.)
|Grandma and her beauties at Danielle's Wedding. I was so happy I couldn't keep my eyes open. We are missing the youngest Granddaughters, who are also exceptionally good looking. ;)|
People wait too long to say things they really mean. It’s all too often that the memories come flooding back, but too late to see the reaction from the one person that matters. So Grandma, since none of us knows how much longer we have, I thought I’d write you a letter in honor of your 50th birthday. ;) You are certainly one of a kind, and there are a few things I’d like to take the time to say thank you for.
|Grandma and Ariel at her Party|
Your den was an oasis to a young book lover. Flipping through your impressive collection of biographies, novels, and grocery store magazines kept me busy. I’ve always admired how much you read, and the diverse books you choose, and I thank you for fostering the love of reading (and subsequently, writing) in my life.
Cherrie’s Jubilee- Seriously.. you took my enjoyment of desert to a WHOLE new level after discovering that not only does my Grandma make a beautiful desert, this wild lady will light the darn thing on fire. As a kid, sitting at your beautifully set dining room table, eating on lovely China and drinking from crystal glasses made me feel a little bit like a princess. Then you lit stuff on fire… well Grandma, thank you for introducing me to the finer things and life. I will, however, choose not to thank you for the extra weight I carry around after discovering these finer foods in life ;)
|Just an average dessert for the Grand kids. That was just how she rolled.|
Everywhere in your house there was a little piece of history. Beautifully maintained pictures of our family’s past adorned your walls and your coffee tables, and you never seemed to tire of answering, for what was probably the thousandth time, who that little boy and little girl were in those pictures. I know for certain that my love of history, particularly our own genealogy, was a direct result from looking into the eyes of my ancestors in those beautiful photos above your bed. While I have made great progress in the Hunter side (I will send an email with my dad from a cousin of Grandpa’s who grew up with Mamie, and has plenty of stories to share), your past was never much of a mystery because it was played out on the walls of your house. The stories you shared of growing up with three brothers whom you loved so very much, painted a vibrant picture in my head of what life in depression era Saskatchewan must have been like. So again, thank you for passing on your passion for history to me. While mom and dad still wonder why I got a history degree instead of, let’s say something more useful in the workforce, (haha) I know you get it.
As many of us remember, summers meant we were at your place.. a lot. I remember many a tea party had with you in the pool, where we would have to think of only things with ‘water’ in the title to eat. (Let’s just say every time I read a menu that has water chestnuts in it, I think of you.) You let us dig into the trunk of old costume jewelry and parade around in fashion shows, or perform our newest dance routines. You let us play restaurant, and store, and ALWAYS went along with our make believe. You gave us the most complex orders, and took us far more seriously than our parents did. You kept a house smelling like pledge (seriously, that’s impressive.. I don’t think I have ever seen dust in your house), and beautifully lit with candles, decorated with delicate picture frames, vases, and breakable ornaments. Your house always looked so beautiful, and I’m sure strangers would have had no idea that on any given summer weekend, 10 or so kids snuck through the house wet, with food we weren’t supposed to have, in places we weren’t supposed to be. I thank you for teaching me there is no reason that you can’t live in style and grace, even with a household of rambunctious kids.
While I could go on and on, I suppose I should let you get back to your party, and enjoy all the family around you. Of course my mom and I would love to be there, but with this baby making his grand arrival anytime, we have to stay put. I promise to bring the little guy to meet his Great Grandma as soon as we can, but until then, enjoy your meal at Hopkins, your family surrounding you, and every year being celebrated today.
With as much love as a computer written letter can convey,
I always told Grandma I would write a book about her. Hers is a story about a woman so incredibly complex, beautifully human, with crescendos and lows, but who never stayed down. Trust me when I say I will one day tell her story because it's exactly something she would love to read.
|Promise #1 Kept- Grady Meeting Great Grandma Hunter|
|For the lady who is in my thoughts today.. I pray for the day when you will be with Gramps again, no pain, walking hand in hand, through the most beautiful of paths. |