Sunday, September 9, 2012

National Grandparents Day

Growing up I was so lucky to have both sets of grandparents within biking distance of my house. My friends who had to drive to other states over Thanksgiving Break were so jealous. We could see both families on any given holiday. I've been really close with my grandparents and it's been such a blessing.

Now my grandma Vy is all I have left, and she's the greatest. She works at the temple, gets down to play with her puppy Oscar and does Tai Chi. Allegedly she's the one I'm most like, and we get along really well. She's still got the classiest style for miles and I can only hope I look that good at her age.

My grandpa Harold passed away in the fall of 2008. It was kind of a hard, because I'd never lost a family member before, but also because one of my best friends, Britt Dalley had died right before we graduated that spring. He'd had dementia and Alzheimer's for years, and it wasn't too much of a surprise. I wasn't super close with my grandpa Harold, because I was pretty young and he spent a lot of his time with my older cousins, as he was a professor of psychology at BYU. The hardest thing was seeing my grandma and dad deal with it. I did feel some loss that I wouldn't be able to visit his office on campus or take one of his classes like my cousins.

Only a few months later, out of the blue, my grandpa Stan passed away. I was much closer with him. He lived right around the corner and we lived with him (in the house the Beard and I just vacated) when I was young. My grandpa Stan taught me how to change a tire, and was always encouraged my ambition to go to BYU and maybe even law school. He was a "good ole boy," quiet and hardworking. His death was much harder for me, especially because he was so healthy (we thought) and we spent so much time with them.

My grandma Nancy has always been the closest. We were the best of friends. We spent so much time together even as I got older. She was the first person I called to talk to when I landed back in the US from London. She was such an amazing example of compassion and cheerfulness. She was incredibly racist and old fashioned. She was just the best. For the 2 years she lived after my grandpa Stan passed away, she missed him terribly. She had been very unhealthy and in pain for years and years, and all she wanted was to "move on." So we saw it coming. Her death was probably the least shocking and most peaceful. I was so happy for her.

However, as time has passed since her death I find myself missing her more and more. She never met the Beard but would have LOVED him. She wasn't here to visit when I got my engagement ring. She wasn't at my wedding. I couldn't call her when funny things happened at school my first year of teaching. She won't be there to meet my first child. I wish she could be.

This picture was taken for my cousins Jessica, Justin, and Jake on missions, but I kept thinking it applied to my grandparents too. 

The day before I got married, my mom and aunt Lisa surprised me with a beautiful, delicate opal necklace. They were stones from my grandma, one for each of her granddaughters and my mom and Lisa had them made into these beautiful necklaces for our wedding days. I felt like she was with me and it was so comforting. As we lived in the "Old House" and used her Christmas decorations I felt so close to her and knew she wanted it that way.

You can kind of see the necklace here.

I wore the necklace today and felt really comforted at church when quotes on faith and love warmed my heart. I have been so lucky to have amazing grandparents, and now I have four more because the Beard's grandparents are still with us and remind me so much of both sets of mine.

Grandma & Grandpa Holdaway

I miss my grandparents, especially Grandma Nancy but thank goodness for the Plan of Salvation. I hope they are watching over me, but it also freaks me out. They'd be embarrassed by things that I do (the amount of popcorn I eat, probably) and say (Grandma Nancy probably wouldn't mind the swearing actually). So hopefully they only see the good stuff. :) I'm so glad I know they're happy and I'll see them again or life would be absolutely miserable. Families are forever. How great is that?!

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