Friday, March 28, 2014

One Year


I'm so relieved the weekend is here, because that means we are one week closer to the busy season being over. I'm also excited for this weekend, because I have a baby shower, bachelorette party, and bridal shower to attend. I know it will be jam packed but it will be nice to have a fun-filled weekend before this next week rolls around.

Despite all the great things in store for this weekend, I can't help but feel sorrow over the significance of March 29th--it was this day one year ago that we unexpectedly said goodbye to my dear grandma Eide, and it was the day eight years ago that my grandpa lost his battle to pancreatic cancer.

The pain from the loss of my grandma is still an open wound. Even one year later, I will easily break into tears, without warning, when some stray memory crosses my mind. Even one year later, I will unexpectedly think to myself, "I can't wait to tell Grandma," but then I remember and the emotions come rushing back. Even one year later, I'll forget that I won't be spending anymore holidays at the house in Williamsburg, and my heart breaks at the thought.

Even one year later, I wish that this wasn't the reality.

Although I still suffer through intense bouts of grief, I do have happy moments--moments when I remember the person my grandma was, and all that she did for our family. I still feel her presence every day, because she has shaped the person I have become, and I firmly believe she still watches over us.

I don't want to trivialize this situation with a list, but making lists is what I do best, so today I'd like to share some of the best memories I have of my Grandma, and how I learned so much from her wisdom.

- A few years ago, I made a rum cake for a family trip to the beach. It was the first time I had ever baked with alcohol, and I had used 151 rum because that's what I happened to have in my freezer. When I anxiously said, "I made rum cake, but I think I used too much rum!" my grandma quickly responded with, "you can never have too much rum." TRUTH.

- Grandma always had a bag of fun size snickers in her purse, the perfect snack for a trip to the movie theater.

- My grandparents would make every effort to make the 6+ hour drive to visit us on our birthday weekends. Grandma would cook us a roast or leg of lamb, and if it wasn't our birthday, we would still get a small gift to open so we wouldn't feel left out. Grandma was all about making sure everyone was always included.

- Breakfasts were always a treat at Grandma's house--donuts, cinnamon buns, and little smokies galore!

- Comment from Grandma during a baby shower: "heavens to Betsy, is this all the champagne that's left?!" I'm with ya Grandma, an abundance of champagne is crucial in getting through a baby shower.

- During the summer of 2007, I had surgery to help ease my symptoms of Crohn's Disease. I was extremely sick before the surgery, and it took me quite some time to recover, so I was unable to hold a job that summer and didn't earn any income to help with my expenses during the school year. Every month that year, my grandma would send me a check for $25--just to help out, and maybe treat myself. I'll never forget that gesture of kindness.

- The only time I can remember Grandma getting mad at me is when I ate an entire box of ice cream sandwiches for breakfast, while she was out for a morning walk. I have no regrets.

- Grandma was always so welcoming to any friends I brought over, ESPECIALLY Matt. She met Matt about one month after we started dating, and she knew. Matt always gets a little misty eyed talking about, because she had a conversation with him that weekend, and she told him she knew he was the One because she saw it in the way he looked at me. I feel very blessed that she was able to be at our wedding.

- Speaking of weddings, Grandma was a dancer! She said when she and Grandpa were dating, he could never get her to leave the dance floor, and would tell her to "cool it." She always had to be the last one on the dance floor.

- When I looked up that last picture, there was a comment from my cousin that said, "I heard that John said 'I don't know what to do Grandma,' and she said 'just shake your butt!'" I'm still dying over that comment--that is CLASSIC Frances Eide!

- This lady sure had a great sense of style:

-My grandparents would always take us out to Sal's, the most delicious Italian restaurant in Williamsburg. One time, a friend of mine came with me and we went to Busch Gardens. The next day, Grandma took us to Sal's, as per usual. My friend said he would never forget the way my grandma marched in, bypassed the 20+ people waiting to be seated, and stated "I would like a table for four in Della's section." We were seated immediately, because that's how she rolled.

- Christmas was always a warm, magical time at my grandparents' house. Grandma would cook a huge feast, then everyone would harass her until she sat down and finally started to eat--she could never fully sit down because she was dead set on making sure everyone else was comfortable. I'm sure it's where I get my sense of hospitality.

- Christmas also meant it was time for the present extravaganza. As we got older, a "present" usually meant a card and some cash, but Grandma always made sure to pick out one gift for each of the grandchildren. The present fest also turned into a "pile the presents on grandma" fest, and most of them would usually be from a dog (our chocolate lab, Abby, was always extremely generous). One year, I sat next to Grandma and her pile of presents--I was her designated champagne holder. She took one look at the pile of gifts and said, "I'm so embarrassed," and I had to laugh. She never wanted people making a fuss over her, she just wanted our family to spend time together.

I want to thank you all for taking the time to read this post. I know it was long, but it was truly cathartic for me to write this. When I began, I could barely type because I was sobbing so hard; however, as I recounted all of these memories, I was smiling and laughing at the end. I know this may sound cheesy, but that is exactly how she would have wanted it--all laughter and smiles, no tears.

I am grateful for all the time we spent together, and for all that she taught me about life, love, family, and wine. I sincerely hope that I can as amazing and as dedicated to my family as she was to ours.

Have the loveliest of weekends, and I will see you all on Monday for the Harry Potter link-up with Ashley at The Grits Blog.

All Love,

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