Dear Grandma

Today is National Grandparents Day! While I’m thinking of all of my grandparents and great-grandparents today, I’d like to highlight my Grandma Marion specifically. I know it’s been a difficult couple of weeks for you, but know that I love you and am thinking of you.

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Dear Grandma,

Even in my earliest memories, you were one of my favorite adults. You were very approachable, laughed easily, and always had a hug ready for each and every grandchild (which is no small feat considering there would eventually be 17 of us running around). I also loved how you really got into the holiday spirit. Whether it was Christmas, Easter, or Halloween I always enjoyed holidays at Grandma’s house:

Yikes–I was rocking some serious bangs and a really cheesy smile

I was also extremely lucky to live nearby, which meant I got to see you more often. You were also always there to lend a hand, and I know I appreciated you driving me to dance classes, music lessons, and other various activities. I especially appreciated your support of my artistic pursuits. Every show, every concert, every recital…I can’t remember one where you weren’t present. That’s a pretty impressive feat considering it lasted 12 years. I’m glad that at least this once, the show came to you:

Was my hair really ever THAT long?!

Another thing I’ve appreciated over the years is all the good chats we’ve had. It’s very easy to talk to you, and I treasure all the time we’ve had over the years to get to know each other. In looking back through pictures, I think it’s safe to say that conversation is something that is never lacking in our family:

Despite all appearances to the contrary, I’m pretty sure this is not an intense conversation about floral arrangements. But then again you never know…

I’m loving the familial closeness on the couch

In addition to all the good times around town, you also shared (and passed on) your love of travel with all of your grandchildren. We were always fascinated by all the pictures and stories you and Papa shared from your international travel, and I remember how excited I was when I found out the whole family was going to take a trip to Disney World which also included a Disney cruise.  Both Disney World trips, and the Disney cruise are highlights of my childhood:

Yikes! Fanny Packs!

Although maybe this isn’t one of them:

Who wouldn’t want to rescue these darlings?

And of course who could forget my amazing high school graduation present–a trip to anywhere in the world. I choose an Australia/New Zealand trip, and you quickly agreed to it even though you had already been there at least once. To adequately describe my thoughts and feelings from that amazing, life-changing trip I would probably have to devote an entire blog entry to that alone. Thus, although it is an understatement, I will simply say that it was amazing. I saw countless breathtaking sights, expanded my worldview, and quickly caught the “travel-bug.” It was without a doubt, one of the most fantastic months of my life. I am so grateful to you and Papa for giving me the opportunity to see the world.

I realize this apology is about 8 years late…but I’m sorry for casting a shadow on you in this picture

This little guy is still the softest, warmest, most cuddly thing I’ve ever held

A final note–one of my favorite aspects of traveling with you and Papa was seeing how you both can really cut loose while traveling. For example, one of my favorite memories from my trip was seeing Papa participate in a Maori tribal dance on stage during a dinner show. Mom mentioned to me that she enjoyed seeing you participate in the cruise night events on the New York/Bermuda cruise you all recently took:

You’re busted

Thanks for all of the great memories over the years. I hope you have a great day today!

I love you,

Heather