It really wasn't that long ago, but back when I was 10, even 15 years old, it was difficult to imagine that the woman I knew as Grandma could have ever held any other title or played any other role in her life. I knew she didn't exactly appear on the scene in white hair and glasses the moment I was born, yet to me she was Grandma and always had been Grandma. And her children, my aunts and uncles, no doubt had the same notions at one point. She was Mom and always had been Mom. But the years unfolded and there came that realization that there was actually a woman behind the titles.
Of course that woman was Kathryn. It seemed impossible at first, but gradually we realized that she was actually a little girl once, a teenager, a young woman. We once thought that age separated her life experience from ours. But the reality was, she experienced triumph and failure, love and heartbreak, and the same types of hills and valleys of life as we who called her Mom and Grandma.
And through it all, Grandma remained young at heart. I'm sure I'm not the only one who admired this about her. There was no question, Grandma was downright cool. She was crazy about baseball. She grooved to the radio in her kitchen. And she had a great sense of style. Wherever I went, I was certainly proud to be her granddaughter.
And when I was little and Mom was pacing and wringing her hands because I had a bit of a low grade fever, it was Grandma's cool confidence that got her through. Having raised six kids, she helped put my mom at ease, gave her sound advice and confidence.
Beyond her role as Grandma and Mom, she was also a friend. And she certainly was patient. Afterall, she managed to keep her composure while teaching Mom and I to knit. On many occasions, my crazy mom would call Grandma and zip up to Big Rapids for her to rescue a dropped stitch. And when I got impatient and cast-off early, she complemented my jagged-edged creation anyway.
Sometimes, we'd play Scrabble or cards and she'd make great homemade fudge and popcorn. Or we'd hit the mall or the Pioneer and shop til we dropped. We had so much fun.
But for the last 5 years, despite the fun we had and the quiet strength she showed, I sometimes forgot that she was missing the love of her life. What a comfort it is to know that she and Grandpa are together again. And though we'll miss them, for them, the fun goes on.
Uncle Bob also did a great job in putting together sentiments from some of my aunts and uncles. The entire family made it to Big Rapids and we got the rare opportunity to snap a complete family photo at the cemetery. After the tears, there were smiles. It was a beautiful day. And Grandma wouldn't want us making such a fuss for very long.