My grandmother returned to our Heavenly Father 25 years ago today. I was 13 when she left this earth. The world lost a wonderful woman this day 25 years ago. I have many wonderful memories of her.
My first memories include a trip to Lake Havasu to visit her. I thought that the lake was hers. I was really young, I wasn't even in Kindergarten yet. I rode with my Dad and my sisters to Arizona from Houston. It was a very memorable trip. We still talk about it. I don't remember a lot of the trip, of course. I remember we stayed in a hotel that had a vibrating bed. Dad put a coin in the bed that my sisters and I were sharing and the thing started vibrating. I remember arriving at my Grandmother's house the next day. She had cookies. It almost seems like they were Thin Mints, but I can't say for sure. She also had cans of soda pop.
We went out on her lake. We rented a paddle boat. My grandmother and I rode in it together. I couldn't reach the pedals, so in all my wisdom, I got down on my knees, and tried to do the pedals with my hand. That was a horrible idea... my life jacket got all tangled up in that thing! Good thing paddle boats aren't known for tipping over!
There was a little shooting gallery there by the lake. You would shoot little targets and different things would happen. The thing I remember the most would be the piano starting to play.
My Grandma would come to visit us every so often. I can't really remember how often though. It seemed like once or twice a year. When Grandma would come to visit, she would perm my hair. I always looked forward to the perm. She gave me the best perms going. I do remember once, a brush or curler, or something got stuck in my hair. It definitely wasn't a good thing. It did get out and I got to keep all of my hair.
The year before she died, we all went to Bridgeport. It was the last time we would all be together. All of my cousins, my Aunts and Uncle, and my Grandma and Grandpa. We have a picture of all of us together. My sister uses it on her Ipad as the desktop photo.
The following summer, Grandma was already sick. We had made plans for me to go out and visit her for the summer. I was young, 13 years-old. I left my family and went to Albuquerque to stay with my Grandma and my Aunt. We went on a trip to Lake Powell where we met my Aunt, Uncle and their children. We stayed on a houseboat for a couple days (I really have no idea how long we were on that), I do know I slept on it for a night or two, at least.
We would fish off of the boat. We would swim. We would nap. We would get off the boat and go on dry land. We had grilled walleye and catfish, which we caught.
My cousin was reading the map one day. Grandma asked where it was. He looked out the window and upstream from where we were. Grandma got a big laugh out of that. We still made it back to where we started from. I'm not sure if we had another map.
I was in Albuquerque for the Fourth of July. We had a little party at my Aunt's house. She had some of her friends over. It was a really nice get-together. There was watermelon. I was shy. I hate watermelon. They gave me a slice and I ate it, very slowly! I helped to get everything put away.
While I was there, Grandma and I would watch "Three's Company." She had never seen it before. I was a regular viewer. I didn't understand what was going on at that age, to me, it was just a funny show. It still is a funny show, but I understand it now. My grandmother would just laugh and laugh. I would lie in bed with her and just watch TV during the day.
This was during the Iran-Contra hearings. I can remember that Grandma didn't like that those were taking place of all the shows she enjoyed watching during the day. We had to find alternate viewing. There was lots of leftover watermelon. Whenever Grandma would get up, she would bring me a slice of watermelon. I, being the shy, and polite person that I was, would eat it. Very slowly, I would eat it.
My Grandma had cancer. I was blessed to spend some of the last days that she was healthy enough to go out and have some fun. She was an amazing woman. I was blessed to be able to know her. There are a lot of people that never get to know their grandparents.
My Grandma was always quick with a joke and she had an amazing laugh. She had a great sense of humor! I remember her saying, "Are we having fun yet?" I would have loved to be able to have her around much longer. I would have loved to have her meet my children, hold my children. I would not wish her to have lived another day with the cancer and the pain and sickness she had though.