Friday, May 8, 2009

Putting a joyful spin on May 7th

Over the past 8 years, this date has not turned out to be the best day for us. First we lost my Grandma, then Aunt Mary, and then 5 years ago we lost my father in law. It's hard to not spend the day in a funk. Why is that so much easier than just remembering the positive time? So, in honor of the loved ones lost, here are a few of my favorite memories...

Aunt Mary

The younger years of my life were spent living in Eugene, Oregon. I have fond memories of playing in the backyard at Aunt Mary and Uncle Jerry's house, the Raggedy Anne and Andy dolls, and those fun pastel colored plastic cups with the white inside. Once we moved to Anchorage, my Aunt Mary also spent time living in China and teaching English to Chinese teachers. I can remember how fun it was to get letters from her describing her students and how much she was learning about the culture everyday. It was when I had moved to Las Vegas after graduation was when Aunt Mary was back in Eugene for good and settled into a teaching position at U of O while the ESL department. Aunt Mary reminded us to find a little bit of JOY in each day. Her strength and spirit will always be with me, a constant joy.


American Beauty Roses were your favorite. The backyard at the house my father grew up in was filled with a gorgeous rose garden. Grandpa took such pride in those roses, as did I. As a child I loved to play in that yard, hiding in the roses and playing under the apple tree. I remember smushing the big black ants on the green patio while Grandma sunbathed and refilled our cold drinks. Grandma had a "flair for fashion". She never wanted to stand out but was not going to be a wallflower either. She was a beautiful woman. Forever in my heart, and I'll always have roses.

Gary, my father in law

Mostly I remember laughing. Gary would love to push the buttons and watch the reaction. The love for his family was obvious, and just as obviously returned. Watching his granddaughters wrap him around their little fingers was very entertaining as well. Total putty in their little hands. I'll always remember Gary fondly, his big heart rubbed off on my husband. For that I am forever thankful.

Now, I'm going to take one last look at the full moon and crawl into bed.


Leslie said...

Laura - this tribute was lovely. It is good to remember and then move forward and enjoy each day we a re blessed with! :)

Crafty Creations by Cindy and Maria said...

What a nice way to remember your family! For the record, my grandma's birthday (was) May 7th!