We just got back from Seattle this afternoon and I wanted to post something that Jeff wrote and decided to share at Grandma Betty's memorial service. I'm so proud of him and am in awe that he could write such a wonderful tribute and read it at the service, at a time of grieving:
"It is interesting when you get a phone call……depending on whom it is from, sometimes you just know they are going to tell you something you do not want to hear. That was the case when Mom called on Saturday. She said that Grandma passed away peacefully in her sleep.
I think that was the best way for Grandma to go. Over the last few years the most you could get from her was a few words….but always a loving smile. She would recognize you even if she couldn’t talk to you.
I remember Grandma mostly from my childhood memories when she was married to Grandpa Rlou. We celebrated Christmas Eve at their house and some years Uncle Dave and his family would be there too. She and Grandpa would come to our house after the cousins moved away. Brother Rick and I would give up our bedroom and sleep in the basement, spending most of our time at the top of the stairs watching for movement under the door on Christmas Eve night.
Grandma made her grandchildren feel very special……each year on or near their birthday she would have them spend the week end with her. Uncle Dave and his family moved to California, so his kids were not as spoiled as Lee & Diane’s. She would pick us up in the afternoon and take us to dinner at a place of our choice. Then we got to go to a theatre and watch a movie. The next days activities were your choice too. Usually starting shopping for a Birthday present and spending the rest of the day at the zoo, or aquarium, or taking a train ride at Goldbar or going to the Seattle Center or playing golf. Grandma was the first person to take Rick and me golfing. She would take us to Jackson golf course in Northgate and we would play the short 9. I am sure that our interest in golf started with Grandma. She really seemed to enjoy golf when we were kids. We would get her or Grandpas golf clubs out, on visits to her house and hit wiffle balls around her back yard. Once I broke a basement window with my back swing. I remember crying and thinking I was going to be in so much trouble but it was no big deal. It was a lot of fun to go downstairs in her house and play the piano. None of us kids knew how to play it but we spent many hours pounding on the keys.
Grandma had a big row of raspberry bushes in the back yard past the shed and bird feeder. In the summer we would help her pick the raspberries and make jam. Then later eat them over vanilla ice cream.
Grandma was a very good cook and always served a very nice dinner. She always had home made cookies around too. She used to make Dad fried oysters and bake him mincemeat pie, two of his favorites.
Grandma always had a bird feeder and bird bath. She knew the species of birds that would stop by for a meal. She really loved animals too and we learned about them by reading the magazines she subscribed to.
I think my first paying job was cutting the grass at Grandma’s house. A job like that once a week really helped a kid grow up. I always wanted to do a perfect job, but would have trouble in certain spots were it was hard to maneuver the mower and scalp the grass. I don’t think Grandma minded it but I think Grandpa Rlou did.
Grandpa Dean has been such a blessing for Grandma. You have taken such good care of Grandma during over the years. I hope you know how much our family loves and appreciates you.
In my mind I picture Grandma now in a sharp outfit, picking flowers or feeding the birds, drinking a cup of tea with a big smile on her face.
We love you Grandma."