It's been a bit quiet around SASWS this week, though that certainly isn't a reflection of life being calm or slow-paced. It's taken me some time to get in the swing of things after saying goodbye to my grandmother last weekend. I want to sincerely thank all of you who emailed, Facebooked, commented, and texted regarding my grandmother's passing. I have spent the last two weeks thinking of how I wanted to honor her amazing life on this blog, and after spending quite a bit of time thinking about it, I've realized it's okay for me keep things simple. My Grammy was an incredible woman. She was thoughtful, passionate, and kind. She was intelligent, driven, and a little bit sassy. She said what she meant, and she had an incredible ability to remember life's littlest moments. She graduated with a college degree in the 1940s, setting a wonderful example for so many women. She waited for my granpa as he served in World War II, eventually marrying him and honeymooning in Chicago. She raised three boys, had five grandchildren and three great grandchildren. She was a big believer in snail mail and a passionate lover of purple. She was an avid weather watcher and a collector of way too many things. She played the piano and called me "Princess" in nearly every phone conversation. She made happy birthday phone calls every year without fail and sent the most talked about camp care packages. She was proud of me for being the first Ph.D in the family, constantly calling to ask about coursework and dissertation progress. She loved my granpa with all her might, sharing 67 years of marriage with her longtime sweetheart. She set a wonderful example of true and unfailing love, and she will be missed beyond belief.
As we gathered last weekend in Ohio, I was reminded just how many people knew and loved her. It was so comforting to meet people in their small town, sharing their favorite stories of her. The owner of the old-time five and dime, longtime friends of my dad and uncles, and friends of her and my granpa. Even the news anchors recognized her passing on air. At her funeral, we all wore purple as a way to pay tribute to her incredible life. We cried and laughed, remembering special times and sharing treasured stories. It was particularly fascinating to see pictures and hear stories from her younger days, a time when I of course did not know her. In the last years of her life, when I became more aware of her age and health, I pushed myself to ask questions, hear stories, and soak up details about her and my granpa's early years together. I'm particularly grateful for those memories now that she is gone. She was a beautiful woman, inside and out, and I'm so grateful to be her granddaughter.
Thank you again for your kind and thoughtful words of support; they mean so much to me and my family. I couldn't help but share a few pictures of pictures, taken over the weekend in Ohio. The first and last pictures might be my most favorite. Have a wonderful week and hug those most dear to you.