Mother's Day:: Grandma K

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m spending this week writing posts dedicated to the mothers in my life. I’ll have a different post Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Sometimes I struggle to wrap my mind around the mother-daughter relationship and all it means. Especially now, being a mother myself, I spend every single day in awe of the awesome relationships we as women share with each other and our children! Kudos to all the mothers out there for all you do!

Today, I’m writing about my grandmother K. Although she has passed on, I have several vivid and fond memories of the time we spent together when she was here on earth. It’s been nearly 14 years since she’s passed away, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

Some of my best childhood memories revolve around Sunday afternoons at grandma and grandpa K’s house. After church every week, we went home, had a quick lunch, changed our clothes and headed back in town to spend the afternoon there. It was fantastic!

If we were the first ones there, we would run to grandpa’s bedroom to gather the nickels out of the basket. My grandparents had 10 kids and at least three of them, if not more, bought their families down on Sunday afternoons. So Sundays were always spent playing with cousins. I have 18 first cousins on that side of the family.

Some of my best friends {then and now} are cousins. Those relationships were formed running around that small ranch style house, swinging on the porch and playing waffle ball in the side yard.

At some point each and every Sunday afternoon, grandma would announce it was time for chips and pop. We’d all gather around the kitchen table for Lay’s, Pepsi and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Yum!

At Christmas time the gatherings were much larger, but we all would gather at one place or another that would accommodate the constantly growing family. We still gather on Christmas, although now because of everyone’s busy lives the attendance is shrinking rather than expanding.

My grandmother was an only child. I sometimes wonder if that is why she had 10 children of her own. She didn't have a job outside of the home and she never had a driver’s license. I always was, and still am in amazement of how she managed to raise such a large family.

She was a small, petite woman who got her white hair set every Friday at the beauty shop. She and my grandpa attended mass every Saturday. When my mom was in the hospital having my baby sister, I got to spend the night at their house. I was only three, but I remember.

As she aged, her memory failed. It was sad, but I didn’t truly understand the debilitating effects of dementia until much later. Before she passed she spent time in and out of the nursing home and hospital. I remember my mom {and sometimes us kids} visiting her almost daily; holding her hand and feeding her dinner.

We all gathered together in that cramped hospital room one afternoon and said our good-byes, not sure if she’d survive the trip home. But, she did, and was able to die in the comfort of her own home surrounded by children and grandchildren. I think that must have been what she really wanted. Who could blame her?

Happy Mother’s Day, I love and miss you Grandma!

This photo was taken on Christmas, 1994. Grandma was 76 and Grandpa was 78.