Sunday, December 6, 2009


The Christmas season is a time for remembering. It is typically a time of traditions that naturally lends itself to remembering the things that you have done in the past. Today, though, I am remembering for another reason. A year ago today, my Grandma Lahey left this earth and went to be with Jesus. It was such a sad day for us here on this Earth, but a glorious day for her. I can't wait to get to see her again some day.

I have actually been thinking of her a lot lately, not just because today is an anniversary. This holiday season is a time that she loved, and I will always remember that. This Thanksgiving, I remembered that Thanksgiving last year was the last time that I really got to talk to her. We typically split our time on holidays between both of my parents' sides of the family, so we went over there for dinner last year. I don't remember exactly what we talked about, but I am sure that our Christmas lists were among the topics of conversation. My grandma loved Christmas. She loved giving. She gave extravagantly at Christmastime, and she loved to sit back and watch all of her children and grandchildren open their gifts. It was hard to get her to sit down and open her own. By the time that she died on December 6th of last year, most of her Christmas shopping was already done. It was a bittersweet time to sit down and open the gifts that she and Grandpa had chosen for us after she was already gone. I remember that she had hand-crocheted my sister some hanging kitchen towels, and tears flowed when she opened them. It was difficult to think that Grandma would not be around to make any more of those hand-made gifts. I still have one of the tags off of my gifts with her handwriting on it on my refrigerator. That handwriting that was both so pretty in its loopy cursive and often difficult to read at the same time. She used to send us handwritten letters, and I loved getting them. I loved how she would update me on what everyone was up to. She never forgot a birthday - there would always be a card and a gift in my mailbox without fail. She often send cards and gifts for other holidays, too. There are so many things that I will remember. Here are some of the other things:

~the way that she would tell us to, "Be pretty, girls" when my sisters and I were arguing

~pinatas at every holiday. Yes, every one. (I don't remember where this tradition started. Maybe Aunt Annie or Mom can comment and help me out here...) It was very difficult to "graduate" from participating in the pinata. As we got older, we learned that the candy was OK, but the little slips of paper with numbers written on them were the real prize. Those were for all of the things that were too big to fit in the pinata. She made sure that there was something for everybody - even if that meant we had to do a little switcheroo after the prizes had been distributed (Zach didn't have much use for the hair barrettes after all...)

~her Christmas tree, and the way that all the gifts never actually fit underneath it. There were always way too many!

~her collections of bells and Gone with the Wind memorabilia.

~the fact that anything you "collected" became a collection for life. I think I still have some of those ceramic masks somewhere...

~Salted pecans and peanut butter cookies with the Hershey kisses (that she called "silver bells") in the middle at holidays.

~the big Easter egg hunts. I especially remember the year that she had a separate egg hunt for the adults. They had so much fun!

~the way that she was always traveling. I could never keep track of whether she was in Florida or Missouri, or somewhere in between. I still have a hard time keeping up with my Grandpa!

~the way that she always kept my Grandpa running. There was always a new job to do. I am sure he wouldn't have had it any other way.

~her love for others. She always included everyone. She always made you feel special.

~her generosity. Though it could be seen clearly at Christmas, she was always such a giver. It was much harder for her to receive - even if that only meant someone else doing the dishes for her. She wouldn't have it!

I love you, Gram! I miss you this year, and I always will!

I'm the one in the lap :-)


Aunt Annie said...

Love your tribute! I may have to have your Mom help with the start of the Pinata - I seem to recall it being shortly after "the first round of grandkids" were old enough to hold a stick (I think Aunt Laurie made the first pinata). Missing Mom (Grandma) along with you.

Becky said...

Ahhh yes. Aunt Laurie started the tradition and her first pinata was as hard as a brick and impossible to!

Carla said...

I know for a fact that I was in college and still had to hit the pinata with the other grandkids ... I think I got promoted around age 21. :)