Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering Grandma

Grad School Graduation 2003

 Growing up my sister and I spent a lot of time with my grandparents.  They lived locally, so when my parents went out by themselves, we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house. We went to Grandma and Grandpa's house to visit on weekends and holidays.  For a few years we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house in the morning before school because my parents had to be to work before we had to be to school.  Needless to say, we were close with our grandparents.  They were there during school ceremonies and celebrations, and often volunteered to help at our elementary school.  We could do no wrong according to our grandparents and were spoiled rotten (to perfection?).

High School Graduation 1998

So it goes without saying that I have MANY memories of Grandma and Grandpa.  Some as early as when I was 3 or 4 years old, still living in New Jersey.  When Grandpa died back in 2001 many of those memories came flooding back as I reminisced about all the fun times with him.  With Grandma passing away yesterday, I am compelled to gather all photos and memories I have of both her and Grandpa so that I do not forget them over the years.  This is a compilation of all the photos I have of my grandparents.  I know there are more at my parents' house, but this will have to do for now. I also have included a list of memories I have of the two of them.

I remember:

Christmas 1992

*Grandma making cream-of-wheat on the stovetop up in New Jersey.

*Playing hairdress with Grandma and Grandpa (They would sit in their chairs and Colleen and I would comb their hair. They always said it looked awesome, even though it always looked the same.)

*They had a tin of crayons and coloring books in their walk-in closet for me and Colleen to use when we came to visit.

Family Cruise, 2005

Christmas 1986
I remember:
*Playing Snap and War while sitting on Grandpa's lap.


*Grandma's "dippy eggs" and Grandpa putting "Olio" on cinnamon buns for breakfast.

*When they moved to Florida before we moved down, they recorded themselves on tape and sent it up to us to listen to.  I was only 3 or 4 years old, but I remember listening to Grandpa's animated voice over the speakers.

*Grandma teaching us her painting techniques.  She helped us paint a tiger, strawberries and a clown.

*Grandma showing us how to paint plastic vases and use sponges to sponge patterns on the vase.  The one I made had the vase painted purple with aqua and white sponge patterns.

*Doing homework after school on their back porch.


*Grandpa volunteered with the Math Superstars program at our elementary school.

I remember:


*Grandma and Grandpa took us to Sam's club to get whatever we wanted when we came home from college.  If we even kinda looked at something, he'd make us put it in our cart (cause who DOESN'T need 10 boxes of mac and cheese?).  And Colleen and I each had our own cart.

My Wedding, 2008
*Grandpa called the lizards down here in Florida "Chee-chaws" so we wouldn't be scared of them when we moved down.

*They would buy Colleen a gift on my birthday and me a gift on Colleen's birthday so we wouldn't feel left out on that day.

*Regardless of what we did, they always said we did a great job.

I remember:

*Talking to Grandma after Grandpa died about how he proposed to her.

*Talking to Grandma about how I could relate to her anxiety and depression when she had to move out of her house and into the assisted living place.

80th Birthdau Luau, 1995

*Grandma would always serve spaghetti on her good china and rice pudding in her crystal stemware.

Our Wedding, 2008

*Grandma made the BEST cole slaw, homemade meatballs and rice pudding.

*Grandpa loved rhubarb pie and vanilla ice cream.

Family Cruise, 2005

*Grandma always had a pitcher of Lipton ice tea in the refrigerator.

*Each night they watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

Family Cruise 2005
Tea Room, 2007

*They had several birds over the years.  The most friendly was called "Bird".  He was a green finch and would peck your finger nail if you'd put it up to the cage.

*Grandma used to call us "a pill", and sometimes snorted when she laughed.

*Grandpa used to call us a "stinkpot".

Family Cruise, 2005

Graduate Degree, 2003

*When we went to their house before school in elementary school, we'd go back to sleep since it was so early.  Grandma would wake us up at 7:20am every morning with a warm, wet wash cloth on our faces.


*They were always, always early to everything.  We sometimes joked that we should tell them an hour later than we wanted to meet so that they'd show up right on time.


*They both loved me and Colleen very, very, very much.  I never doubted that.  Ever.

I could probably go on and on, but for now this will do.  Their passings were expected at the time they occurred, so I had time to mentally prepare for it.  However, there are times I really miss them.  With Grandpa it was graduating from Grad school, getting married and having Natalie.  I'm so glad that Grandma got to be here for those events (especially meeting Natalie last year), but I'm sad that she won't get to be here to watch Natalie develop into an amazing little person.

September 2010
I'm not sure how to end this post, so I'll just say: Grandma and Grandpa, I love you both SO MUCH.  Please watch over us.  Especially Natalie.  We all miss you!



  1. What awesome memories. Your grandma sounds like a wonderful woman.

  2. Doris Cartlidge KaczorSeptember 11, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Roast beef dinner and the COLE SLAW. Yum