Friday, April 23, 2010

It's April...

And here I am finally blogging again! So much for my New Years Resolution. A picture a day? Who was I kidding??

It's been a busy year so far. Let me just tell you, not all of it's been great. So much going on, so much to update. Let's start at the beginning.

My grandmother, 101 years young, passed away suddenly on January 10, 2010. Is it possible to pass away suddenly after 101 years? It kind of felt that way. As my dad said, "I guess we couldn't keep her forever." I just happened to be visiting my parents when it happened. I never imagined being there when the call came in, but I was. They asked my dad to come to the nursing home to be with her. The end was near. Mom and I followed close behind him.

I tried to be strong so my dad didn't worry about me, but towards the end it was very difficult to keep my emotions in check.

>>Hard to see my dad lose his only living parent

>>Hard to watch my mom be strong for my dad

>>Hard to call my brother and his wife in Ft Worth who wanted to be with his grandma one more time, more than anything at that moment, but with a baby on the way and being 7 hours away, realistically knew that was not an option

>>Hard to email my other brother in Japan and tell him the news via email. Can't even imagine how that would be to get the news via email.

But the worst, was coming home to to tell my 9-year old son that he would not be able to see her again, or sit next to her on great-grandma's chair again and have her tell him how much he's grown since she last saw him. She loved him very much and he thought it was pretty cool having a great-grandma. An honor I never had as a child. She loved all of her grandchildren very much. She just lit up talking about all of us and our kids, and our kids' kids!

I thought it would be appropriate to list a few of the things my grandma, Mildred Seckman, taught me:

1. You always send a thank you note. Always. And use pretty stationary to do it.

2. You should always present yourself as a lady and keep your house tidy. Do your hair. You never know who may show up to say hello today. (Still working on this one....I don't think Grandma would understand Jammie Day or the dishes that are still in my sink from last night's dinner)

3. Be a good hostess. Offer something to drink when you have visitors. Her and grandpa always had a pot of coffee on. They loved a good cup of coffee. Anytime I walk in to someone's house and smell coffee I think of them.

4. Special dishes are used on special occasions - but even the kids get to use the good stuff. They better not try to wash them, or scrape their knife across them while cutting their meat, but they can use them at the table. Kind of hard to relax and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with my mom staring a hole in me, waiting for me, or one of my brothers, to scratch the good china. Grandma ALWAYS washed the plates after the meal. I tried to help her ONCE, only once. I was quickly ushered out of the kitchen and handed the crumb brush to clean the table. Not the same grandma, not the same.

5. Write the dates and information on the back of your pictures. "Your mom has always done that for me," I remember her saying. (Ok, so, I'll have to use an archive-safe pencil so my scrapbook friends don't retaliate, but I'll try to document my pictures better. Especially those I give away.)

6. Know the history of your family. Grandma always loved to share stories of her life with anyone who would listen. I was always perched, ready to hear another story about her (in my mind) very colorful and vibrant life. Especially the story of her and my grandpa, John. I loved those stories. I still love those stories.

7. Love your family. Love your spouse. Take care of each other. She did all of that and then some. I am better for having her as my grandmother.

I could go on and on, but I won't. I'm too teary-eyed now. I don't want to make her out as the next candidate for sainthood, but she was my grandma and I love and miss her terribly. Time has passed, but it's still emotional thinking about her being gone. I'm thrilled to have a couple pieces of her artwork, several pictures of her, some great memories of summers at the farm, and a box full of letters and cards from her, to remember her by. Some of my most treasured possessions are the memories I have of all of my grandparents. I wish this for Braden.

Not even a month later, on February 4, Brady's Aunt Terry passed away. She had been sick for awhile, but not sick enough to leave us. She took a turn and was gone within hours. She was always so quiet, but so much fun to be around. Not to mention, loved so much for her thoughtful ways. I learned so much more about her after she passed. I wish I had known what a great seamstress she was. I would have like to have talked to her about that. I'm sure she could have taught me a few hundred things.

I have Aunt Terry's sewing boxes and feel close to her when I go through them. You know, I think you can learn a lot about a woman by seeing what's in her sewing box. Now that I think about it, I was always interested in what was in my Grandma Siebenmorgan's sewing box, and my mom's too. All of these ladies had wonderfully full boxes with thread, buttons, thimbles, fabric swatches and pattern paper, and scissors .... only to be used for sewing. Me? I have one of those free travel sewing kits that you get in the fancy hotel rooms. My scissors? I usually find them in the garage next to something sticky, or in my kid's to something sticky.

In the middle of this, on January 19, 2010, we were so very blessed to welcome the newest member of our family, my nephew, Jackson Dean Seckman. Jason and Mindy are fantastic parents to three kids now, twins Maddie and Mason, and little Jackson. Jackson is just a doll! Of course, I haven't been able to visit yet, but I can't wait to get there to hold him. Hopefully he won't be in highschool by then! Might be kind of embarassing....for everyone.
In March, just when things might be slowing down a bit, my dad found out he has prostate cancer. He's being very positive about it. I know in my heart that he'll be fine. It's just one more thing for my parents to deal with. Can't they just be retired, and enjoy life?

Not near enough energy to rehash the rest of the last couple of months, so maybe I'll just add some pictures and a couple of captions...

Went to Orlando for work at the end of January, and took the boys with me to have a little bit of a vacation.

Braden's hockey team was seeded 6th in the end-of-the-season tournament and ended up winning the whole darned thing!

Braden started volleyball this season. Loves it! He's a natural - just like his cousins Dani and Jordyn.

My niece, Dani, went to prom this year and asked me to help her with her hair and make up. That was fun to do something girlie. Thanks Dani, for inviting me to help!