It's been 9 years since my grandma passed away, but the memories are as vivid and fresh as ever.
I miss her so much, and I know that she is looking down over all of us, but the pain doesn't ever really go away.
Although I didn't really know it then, I loved every minute that we got to spend with her, and I truly wish that I could know her now, as an adult, to be able to communicate my love to her in such a deeper way.
Spending so many days at her house after school, she probably got tired of us! Haha. But we were her grandkids, and I know she appreciated the invaluable moments with us as well.
I will never forget that woman's coffee cake. Seriously, never. She always had at least two different kinds in the freezer for us to choose from, and she always let us have as much as we wanted! Boy, could she cook! I really wish someone would have learned her recipe, as every one I've researched and found just isn't the same - I fear I will never again taste the deliciousness that was her coffee cake. Dewberry was my favorite, and she knew it too! Just thinking about it brings back the smells and taste of the melt-in-your mouth dewberry coffee cake.
She loved to cook and was always in the kitchen - ALWAYS! But none of us ever complained...let's not kid ourselves here. I don't think I have a single memory of my childhood that didn't involve my granny in the kitchen ... and I just smile thinking about every one of them! :-D
She was such a strong and independent woman. Raising three kids by herself, she did what she had to do. I don't know her entire childhood history, but I know that every obstacle and endeavor ultimately formed the character that I grew to know and love. Seriously, if I could be half the mother, role model, and woman she was, I'd consider myself blessed!
She did everything in her power to make sure her grandkids were happy. If she was picking us up from school, she would be sure to have a soda wrapped in aluminum foil for the less-than-five-minute-drive to the school, as well as a star crunch. They aren't the healthiest, but I still buy those things today, if only for the memories with my granny. She wanted to make sure we had a snack and that the soda was still cold. No, she could not wait for us to get to her house ten minutes from her leaving. I'm delighted by these memories, now. At the time, eyebrows were probably raised at this act, but I will cherish the memory forever. Seriously, I really do buy those star crunch just because it reminds me of her. Oh, and they are so much better if you have them in the freezer :). Right, Josh?! And I'm pretty sure my sister always thinks back on her marvelous gravy bread. Basically, it was gravy (that she had made, of course!) over a piece of bread. But the bread was then cut into small squares, and there was a squirt of ketchup on each and every square. Seriously, it was a pretty amazing snack!
She also loved her some Houston Astros. She would yell at the players as if they could hear her criticism and wouldn't think anything else of it. She was unique and (from what I can remember) didn't care what most people thought of her.
Christmas was always at her house on Christmas Eve. My mom's side of the family would gather in her small house to celebrate the holiday. We would all squish together in her tiny, tiny living room and open gifts, one at a time. I also remember a few times that we went to midnight mass together as a family. Seriously, some great memories. And every one of them is of love, laughter, and joy that was being with family in my grandma's house.
Granny was also very involved in her faith and her church. I have countless memories of going with her to mass on Sundays and attending her Vacation Bible School in the summers. Those would be some of the best weeks of my life! She would always pick us up, excited to hear about what we did or learned that day, with a huge smile on her face and hurrying us to get in the car. :)
She also had so many faithful and loyal friends. Many of them at her church. I will never forget their smiling faces and reactions to my showing up time and time again. She was also always on the phone with those friends, a few of them she would talk to in German. I always wanted to learn the language from her, but that dream was shattered the day that the good Lord called her to His kindgdom.
I was in high school when it happened. I had just finished my freshman year of high school. Josh and I were at her house when our cousins showed up to give us the news. Being that it was 9 years ago, I don't remember my exact reaction, but I know that we were taken to the nursing home where she was, and I remember looking at her and seeing that she was in peace and no longer in pain. I don't remember much else of that day, other than my whole family was there in the nursing home, but arrangements had to be made. I don't know if it was that night or the next night, but I remember that I went to the theater in town to see the Harry Potter movie that was playing. I remember sitting in the back and just losing it and crying inconsolably.
My grandma died of pancreatic cancer. I don't remember much of it, again being that I was only 14 at the time, and it was nine years ago. I just know that she had been in the hospital after going to her primary care doctor and being told that her aches and pains were that of 'old age' (this I got from stories from family after the fact). I remember the time I went to visit her in the hospital, probably because everyone knew she didn't have much longer to be with us and I wanted to see her one last time. She was so yellow, and she was in so much pain. She was no longer the strong, stubborn woman that I knew as my granny. She had been plagued by the cancer, which took over her body. From what I've been told, the doctors had given her a prognosis of a few months, but it was just a few short weeks that she had left with us.
There were so many people at the funeral, which proved just how much my Granny meant to so many people. She was inspirational and a blessing to each and every one of our lives, whether we realized it then or not.
I have a few things of hers that I will absolutely cherish forever, no matter how small or how much it does not go with our decor.
One year for Christmas, the number one item that I wanted was to have a ring in memory of my grandma. My mom made sure that it was something I received. It's a simple band with these words enscribed:
In memory of Evelyn Getschmann. Truly loved and deeply missed.
Today, I'm reminiscing on the memories that I have of my granny. Today, I'm thanking God for blessing me with such an amazing grandmother in which to learn from and love. Today, I know that she is another one of my guardian angels watching over me and protecting me. Today, I smile knowing just how much she loved me as well.
I love you, Granny. And I miss you beyond words.