My Grandma, Jan

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In my more recent posts I mentioned that I had moved out of my parent’s house and into my grandmother’s to help take care of her. Shortly after my last post, she passed away and left me devastated. She was 85 years old and had gotten to the point where she needed a walker to get around, did not have the energy to make herself meals, and was always feeling tired.

My grandmother, Janice, played a very large role in my life along with my grandfather, Walter, who passed away back in 2006. Ever since I was born, I spent huge amounts of time with them and they took that opportunity to educate me about the world and teach me all they could. They exposed me to history and culture through field trips to a museum or out to a picnic in the most beautiful areas of San Diego. When we didn’t go out for the day, they taught me how to cook, bake, sew, and fed my creative side with art projects and crafts. Out of their seven grandchildren, I was the oldest and had the amazing opportunity to spend the most time with them. My grandfather passed away at 79 in 2006.

My grandmother was very smart and independent. We liked to say she was “spunky” and never lost that spunk as she aged. While I was in college, I took the time to visit her and take her to her doctor appointments because she could no longer drive. I never liked the thought of her being alone. Moving in with her was one of the best decisions I had ever made. Even though we only had a little over a month of living together, I was able to give her someone to spend time with and someone to talk to. She did the same for me. I never saw her as a burden. To me this was an opportunity to spend even more time with my dear grandmother. Even now, almost three months later, I still get choked up just writing this.

Why even post about this? Well I didn’t want to use this as an excuse to not post, but it is the truth. I completely lost interest in cooking and baking when she passed away. I’m starting to feel the urge to bake more and more and I hope to start posting again soon. I also wanted to share how special my grandparents were to me. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be so passionate about being in the kitchen and this blog would not exist.

As a tribute to my grandmother, I bought a shadowbox at Michaels and framed her gingerbread man cookie cutter and gingerbread boy cookie recipe to keep with me always. The cookie cutter and recipe are both over 50 years old. They were used every Christmas when she would bake cookies with the kids. This started when my father and his brothers were very little and continued with my sisters and I when we were young. It’s a family tradition. Now that she is gone, I’m afraid to continue to use the cookie cutter because it is so old and fragile.

Now I have it protected in a frame and it can hang in my kitchen where I can think about her and my grandfather and how much they mean to me. I wanted to dedicate this post to them and remind everyone who reads this to really appreciate those moments you share with those that you love.

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