Monday, March 26, 2012

Dear Grandma,

I have so many amazing memories of you from my childhood!  You were the Grandma I hope to be!  You made a special effort to come to so many of our school events, sports games, birthdays and holidays!  I have been thinking about you non-stop during the last week and a half.  I am so glad that I will never have that moment where I say I wish I knew you better or I wish I had spent more time with you. 

Your health right now is touch and go.  We all thought we were saying good-bye this week.  During my visits with you, so many things came flooding up from my past that it was hard to be sad.  I know that you will leave us some day and, as much as that breaks my heart, I know I will see you again in Heaven!

So many of my childhood memories were of things that you and Granddaddy did with us!  I remember our trip to Florida like it was yesterday, including all of the snacks that my mom packed and the long drive in the car.  I wonder how you guys did that!  You used to say that your girls (Clare and I) kept you two young!  I am not sure how we didn’t drive you crazy from Virginia to Florida, but we made it and, once there, had a blast swimming, going to Disney World, and, one of my favorites, Sea World:

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Our holidays were always that much brighter with you there!  Every Christmas that I can remember, you two were there watching us open presents:

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Your house was a anchor in our lives.. as we moved around the state, we always knew we had your house to both make and keep memories in.  During some summers, that meant living there as a house was being built.  On other summers, it was simply staying with you guys for a few weeks to give my parents some time off.  Those summer memories were filled with gardening, swimming, egg salad sandwiches (my favorite), watching Anne of Green Gables, playing in the basement, and working on jigsaw puzzles (something I still love to do because of you)!  Clare and I have wonderful memories at your house, including yearly pictures of us on Granddaddy’s tractors:

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I am so thankful that you got to meet Sammy!  I know he wont remember you like I do, but it is a memory I will treasure forever:

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You motivated me in school, but not in the same way as you did with Clare.  Clare wanted (and did) follow in your footsteps as a teacher.  Instead, you motivated my savings side.. You wanted to see me succeed and I wanted to see the hard work pay off in my savings account.. Eventually, I learned to work hard for my grades, just to be proud of them myself.  I fully believe that was what you had intended when you paid me for my A’s and B’s.  Your believing in me and helping me succeed early on helped me to graduate from James Madison University with a computer science degree.  You were so proud of Clare and I, and helped us buy our books each semester so that we could focus on what was important!  Thank-you for that generous gift!

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You loved to tell stories to your friends about us.  You always told people how I would come in the house and have to find you and give you a hug first thing.  You could be in the middle of making a huge Thanksgiving meal (which was always amazing) and I would stop you and say that I needed to give you my hug.  Those huge holiday meals are what I imagine for holidays and hope to continue with my family!  Our favorite part of the meal was that you always asked us a few weeks beforehand what we wanted you to make.  We picked out our favorite dish and you always made it happen!  To me your mashed potatoes and gravy are legendary, and every time I make them I think of you and how you taught me to make them!

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We went on vacation to the Outer Banks almost ever year.  I remember this moment.. after a day at the beach coming home and getting all cleaned up and snuggling up with you:

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You made us a priority.. there are very few birthdays, holidays or other big events that you weren’t a part of.  I loved having our birthday dinners with family and the feeling of being so special on our big day!  You would even come over to celebrate your birthday with us!

grandma's birthday

Here’s a picture of you watching your great-grandsons swim during a day at the lake.  I wonder what that must have felt like.. after watching us swim at so many different pools all of those years.. to see your girls (how you lovingly referred to Clare and I) out in the lake with their boys!

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Thank you for being so involved and making so many amazing memories with us.  Some of which I don’t remember (that is the beauty of photography) but, as you can see, I was having the time of my life with my mom and my grandma:

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I am so blessed to have you in my life!  You are my namesake or at least partially.  You loved to tell the story of how my parents wanted to name me after you.  You said don’t call her Shirley.. call her Lindsay.  That was the name on your birth certificate and it was crossed out with Shirley written underneath.  I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing person to be named after!  I love you!

Love,

Your youngest girl Lindsay