Sunday, September 30, 2012

Grandma Andersen

My Grandma, Violet Doris Miller Birch Andersen passed away on September 4th. She was almost 92 years old and had been in failing health for a few years.

Grandma Violet Andersen is actually my 2nd Grandma Andersen. She became my Grandma after marrying Grandpa in 1963, when I was 5 years old. My first Grandma Bessie Andersen passed away when I was 3, and I really don't remember her at all. We called Violet "Grandma" from the very beginning. Grandpa passed away in 1992, and she cared so sweetly for him in his last years. She was a wonderful sweet, kind, courageous, happy, caring, loving, gentle woman. She has been a great example to me. I love her dearly.

I was able to see her one last time the day before she passed away. She was in terrific pain, and heavily sedated. I hope she heard me tell her thanks for being such a wonderful Grandma, and that I loved her. It was purely a privilege to call her my Grandma. It was truly a blessing for her to be released from her pain and misery.

As my sisters got word of Grandma's passing, they all started to make plans to come for the funeral. They came from both coasts. Suzanne came from Greenville, SC. Tricia from Sugar Hill, GA, and Shauna from Kennewick, WA. When I heard they were coming, I decided I wanted to spend some time with them. I decided this would be a rare occasion for us to be together as adults without our children. I really wish Lynne and Randy could have come too! So, on Friday, September 7th, I headed for Logan, Ut.  I stopped in Smithfield and picked up my 92 year old Grandpa Chambers, and we met Mom, Dad, Suzanne, Tricia, and Shauna at Sizzler in Logan. Grandpa is not doing very well either, so it's good to spend time with him. After we ate, we all went back to Grandpa's house. Some of us did some shopping for him, some of us cleaned and did his laundry. One of us got the opportunity (grin) to listen to Grandpa tell her all about a 300 page book about Logan.

Me, Suzanne, Tricia and Shauna with Grandpa Chambers.

As you can see, some us were being just a little silly in this picture. That seemed to be a trend for the rest of the day. Mom left to go to the Funeral Home, and Dad and us girls went to get a small bite to eat at Wendy's. More silliness just seemed to keep happening, starting with Tricia and Shauna dipping their french fries in their frosties and grossing me out. I think Dad wondered what he'd got himself in for!

We got to the Funeral Home for Grandma's viewing and really decided that we were celebrating her life more than mourning her death. We were so grateful for the opportunity to be together and I think she would be happy to see us liking to be together and having fun.

Tricia, Suzanne, me and Shauna

After the viewing we went to stay at a hotel in Brigham City (there were no rooms available in Logan!) Mom had not eaten since Sizzler, so we stopped at a different Wendy's. This is where things really got silly. I can't really remember what got us laughing, but there were tears and mascara running down our faces. Mom was laughing just as hard as us "girls". I really think Dad would like to have just disappeared at this point. I haven't laughed that hard in ages! It was just a great release of emotion. I'm sure the people in Wendy's thought we were nuts, and would have had a hard believing we were all together because of the death of our Grandma. 

In the hotel room in Brigham City.

Once we got checked into the hotel, we kind of got caught up in the technology world for a bit. Tricia even had her phone and tablet going at the same time. Mom came to our room for a little while, but we didn't have any cards so we couldn't play a game or anything. So she left and went to her and Dad's room for some much needed sleep. Let's just say the night was filled with quite a bit of snoring, and tossing and turning. It seemed like the sheets were velcro to our jammies, so it made the tossing and turning more difficult.  I'm sure we have not ever had a slumber party like that, even when we were little, because we weren't all little together. There is a 23 year age difference between Tricia and I! Even though it wasn't the best nights sleep I've had, I had a great time being with 3 of my 4 sisters! (We missed you Lynne!)

Saturday, we got up, and didn't even fight over the bathroom, got ready and headed back to Logan for the funeral. Lynne and Randy were able to make it to the funeral, so all 6 of us were finally together. It was a very nice funeral and tribute to Grandma. We went to the cemetery in Trenton and back to the church in Logan for a dinner. It was also good to see most of my cousins. Families are so important!

L-R, Me (I am the oldest), Tricia (the youngest), Shauna (3rd), Suzanne (5th), Randy (2nd), Lynne (4th). 

Mom and Dad joined us for a picture! We are not all together very often, so it is wonderful to have the opportunity to be together. And yes, there was still some silly stuff going on, Shauna still has her sunglasses on! I love you all!