Monday, December 27, 2010
I feel a bit like I fell off the face of the earth this week. My phone was turned off for longer than I expect it's ever been, and there were whole days when I didn't get on the computer(!). I have quite a few things I've baked, but I honestly can't bring myself to really think about writing about them right now. I had four grandparents in my life when I was born. I lost my paternal grandfather in 1998, and then my maternal grandfather in 2005. This Monday, I lost my maternal grandmother, Menta Hofmeister. She was my mom's mother, and left behind my mother and her three siblings Betty, Fred and Phyllis along with my cousins and their kids.
It's not to say it was unexpected. She'd had Alzheimer's, and hadn't really been the Grandma I knew as a kid for a long time. But that didn't mean it was easy, either. Things I loved about that Grandma:
She always sent Christmas presents early. I may or may not have accidentally pried one open before Christmas day once. It was a stuffed animal of Percy, the pug from Disney's "Pocahontas." Tell me you're surprised.
She had a collection of collectible spoons that hung by the kitchen. An interesting thing to collect, but it was her thing.
She always had candy waiting for me at her house when we came to visit.
She kept sandwiches and chips for every visit too. Oh, and cans of Pepsi. She would put a lid over the top of the glass in the fridge if people hadn't finished it all the way.
She, like every other grandparent of mine, teased me relentlessly. In a good way :)
She adored my grandfather. They met as pen pals during World War II and were hardly ever apart after that.
I know that because I'm the youngest grandchild by a long shot, that I missed out on many memories of her that my cousins might have. But that was the positive that came from this: I saw many cousins at her funeral that I hadn't in quite some time. A couple were missing, held up by weather, but most of us were there. It's strange how death can bring together family for a sad reason but the situation can also be happy.
My grandpa had this habit, that he even had while in France and Germany during WWII. He shot pictures of everything. German soldiers, friends, downed planes, and later in life, family when we would come to visit. Looks like I've inherited the duty of forcing family to take pictures :) I want to remember the few times we get to see each other. A picture can be incredibly valuable.
So, that generation of my family tree on that side is officially gone. She's much better off where she is now, though, and I hope that wherever she is, she's by Grandpa Hofmeister's side.