The life and times of Jack, Owen and Ella Crossett

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rest in Peace Grandma. We Will Miss You!

This morning my Grandma passed away peacefully in the company of four of her loving daughters. While this was not unexpected, it is still very painful and sad. At the same time we are relieved that Grandma and Grandpa can be together again. This is what she wanted and I am happy that she is at peace now. I am writing the following for my own benefit but feel free to read!

I always had a wonderful relationship with my Grandma. We spent countless hours in my Grandparents backyard pool or picking berries from the bushes next to their house. We loved running in her basement or playing with toys in her living room or playing Nintendo in the front room (something we were never allowed to have at home). We even got to spend the night once and Grandma made us Buckeyes ;-)

My Grandma raised 14 kids of her own and had over 30 grandchildren. She LOVED babies and kids. That is one thing we always had in common. If you were ever looking for a baby at a family function you would look with Grandma or with me. I think that is why I was so excited to be able to tell her when I was starting my own family.

I remember the day I got to tell Grandma that I was pregnant with Jack. We wanted to wait until I had my first appointment to make sure everything was going smoothly before we told her, so the minute I left my doctor appointment I jumped in the car and drove to see Grandma and Grandpa. At the time Grandma was not doing well and was in Caretel. We went in and I was so excited to tell them but the words just would not come out. I handed Grandpa the ultrasound pictures and he was so excited. He explained to Grandma what was going on and she lit up more than I had seen in years. For the rest of the visit every person who came in the room (nurses, doctors, cleaning people, etc.) got to hear “These are our Granddaughters. This one is going to have a baby. It will be our first Great Grandchild!”. It was perfect.

Over the next months Grandma fought to get better and got to go home although she still was not entirely well. The day Jack was born was obviously momentous for me but I would swear Grandma and Grandpa were just as excited. Grandma had not left the house socially since Neil and I got married but the day after Jack was born she came to the hospital and even had her hair and make-up done.

The moment Grandma met Jack was amazing. She was beyond thrilled. She kept telling me how tiny he was (you think that would wear off after 14 kids and over 30 grand kids). She sat and chatted about how Jack was the same size as her smallest (Aunt Lois) and Grandpa told me how different things were (the men were not even allowed on the same floor as the Moms and babies when his kids were born!). It was this day that I feel I really saw something in Grandma that brought me to a new understanding with her. It was as if all of the sudden I knew exactly what her life was about. She lived to raise her children and see her grandchildren grow up. Grandma dedicated her life to her family and now that I was doing the same thing we had this new bond that was so special.

After seeing how excited Grandma was about Jack I knew I had to let her see him as much as possible. No matter how cold it was or how tired I was I packed Jack in the car and took him to visit Grandma and Grandpa every Friday for lunch with my Mom and Theresa. During these visits we would talk to Grandpa and catch up with them and the news of the other family. The entire time we were there Grandma would hold Jack when he was small enough and then we would put him on the floor in front of her so she could watch him play once he got older.

During these times Grandma did not listen to a single word any of us said. She spent the whole time staring at Jack and memorizing everything he did. Occasionally she would interrupt our conversation to say something like “Look! He just smiled!!!” or “Did you see that, Herb?! He just rolled over!”. I originally started going to those Friday lunches for Grandma’s benefit but it turned out to be so much more important to me. I spent the last years of both of their lives spending time with them and listening to their stories and letting them watching their Great-grandchildren grow. I was lucky.

I still am lucky because I had the best Grandparents there ever were. I will never forget the times we spent together but more importantly I will always have the relationships with my extended family that are so strong because of the loving example they set. Our family is truly amazing. A huge group of people that stand together and hold one another up in the hardest times and celebrate together during the good. Although this is the end of an era, I am confident that the next era will continue to bring us together and love one another and share in the memories we created with Grandma and Grandpa. I love you all.
Grandpa and Grandma meeting Jack
Talking with Grandma at the hospital

Grandma with her first Great Grandbaby

A visit at my Grandparents. Grandma oblivious to everything but Jack.

She had a way with babies. She taught me how to get Jack to go to sleep like this when he had Colic.

Four generations

Jack with Grandma this past Halloween

Happy Owen with Grandma

He was loving this visit

Grandma loved his little hands


I will always cherish these times


Chris Fegan said...

Thank you so much for that loving tribute, Emmy! You sure captured the true loving character of grandma. I think we are so comforted now because of all the love she showered upon us. I agree, we do have a very special family. Grandma and grandpa showed us how to be together and support each other during difficult times like this. It makes me so happy to know they are together again, at last! Thanks for capturing that "baby sparkle" in her eyes. She loves those babies - all 14 and the plus 30!
Love, Aunt Chrissy

Becky said...

I loved reading that (even though it made me cry)! So many of those things I know and so many more are so different than my own relationship with our grandparents. They were truly amazing in that they were able to make a special bond with every single one of us. I am sad that my own children will never get to meet them, but I know with the impact they left on all of us they will still influence all future generations as they have us. We have been so lucky to have people like grandma in our lives, it is a rare thing to have such great people love you unconditionally. I will miss grandma, but all of us together will definitely soften the blow. Love you grandma! Love you all!