Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Grandma Nedra

My last living grandparent died semi-unexpectedly the night of August 25th.  I say semi because if you had asked me a month ago, I would have had no idea, but we were warned about a week in advance that she would not recover from a recent procedure she had for some skin cancer.  It was hard news at first, but her memory and health had been in decline for the last year or so, and she was no longer able to do most of the things she always loved to do for fun anymore.
Gi-gi and The Frog
We all loved "grandma Nedra" and she was so good at making every one of her many grandchildren feel like they mattered to her and she wanted to be a part of their lives.  

She had an amazing skill to always know what to say in any situation- whether you needed advice, bolstering, or to escape an awkward moment.  She was so unexpectedly witty and quick to play along with a joke, which I never noticed until the last 5 years or so.  She is widely known for always keeping a perfectly ordered, spotless, and beautiful home and being well-dressed and nails always painted  (usually something fun, like pink!).  

I was always amazed at how well-rounded she seemed- knowing a bit about a variety of things and having many hobbies she kept up with.  She made the best rolls EVER (which I still can't replicate, despite a detailed training session).  She liked to watch the Jazz and could talk sports with anyone.  But the hobbies I think of most when I think of grandma are golf, bridge, and knitting.  She used to let us drive around her golf cart when we visited her in Arizona, and though I never did learn to play bridge, we always played cards with grandma on our yearly sleepover at her home.  She is the reason I learned to knit and I love that she thought of me when she could no longer see well enough to do it anymore, so I inherited her knitting needles, patterns, and yarn.  I love having those reminders of her in my craft room.  I treasure the afghan she knit me for my high school graduation (and every one of my cousins) and people at Brown always commented on the awesome scarf and hat she knit for me before I left for college.  I wore that every day and I think it probably kept me a bit warmer because I knew it was from her.  

I was also so impressed at her ability to embrace change and willingness to try new things and keep learning.  She was always reading a book and even took up piano lessons later in life.  I remembered being surprised when I heard that...  I'm not sure if I thought that because grandma just seems to be so wise, what could she possibly still have to learn, but this shows that she embraced that there is always more to learn and there's no time like the present to do it... even if you're 75!  She even tried to learn how to use the computer and attempted email for a time.  She wrote me letters out of the blue, every so often when I was in college far away (at Brown) and I still remember when she sent one on her cute stationery that she always used, but she had typed it up and printed it on- albeit with funny margins.  I just love that she would even try and not be embarrassed about not being perfect while learning.  

She is such a great example to me and I will always remember her as bright and sunny and laughing.  (and wearing pink :D)

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