She was affectionately called “Little Grandma” in our house. She was a spitfire, lucky if she was 4’8” or so and never over 100 lbs even soaking wet. She was the Mother of 12 children with too many grand and great grand children to even count. Absolutely loved by all! There isn’t a one of us that hasn’t been touched by her in some way.
While my Dad was serving in Viet Nam, my Mom and I stayed with her and my Grandfather. My Grandma would get up in the morning and as soon as I’d started to make some noise she’d come and get me from my crib and bring me downstairs for breakfast. My brother and I would spend our Christmas and Easter breaks from school with them most days while our parents worked. No matter what time we’d have to be dropped off, and that was pretty early on some cold snowy days, she was always ready for us with a huge smile on her face and breakfast ready. Usually some Polka music on in the background.
She didn’t have material wealth, no fancy house or clothes but she had a HUGE heart. She always made you feel special and loved. My fondest memories of her were sitting around the dining table and playing card games. If you were lucky you sat to her left and she’d feed you the cards you needed to fill your hand. She loved to let us win, and trust me she could have easily beaten any one of us at any time she was that good but she’d rather see the joy on our faces. And not one of us will ever just walk by the game of Yahtzee and not think of her. It was a rite of passage to sit with her and play game after game of Yahtzee!
One of my more notable memories was of my Mom driving us to pick up my Dad from work and as we’re heading down Main Street in Oshkosh, I looked out the window and saw my Grandma with her purse on her arm and the other arm just swinging away. She was going somewhere in a hurry and with a purpose. She wasn’t even close to home. She never learned how to drive, she walked everywhere! I mean everywhere and not just a slow meandering walk a high- gear power walk! That gene has been passed down to some of us and I have actually been told a time or two to slow down, you walk to fast!
One of her goals was to live to be 100. She made it to 101! She went to live in a nursing home this past November as she finally needed around the clock care. She told my Aunt Dort she had 1 week to get her out of there! She didn't want to stay around all those old people!
Disneyland has a saying; “The Happiest Place on Earth”, they’re wrong. The Happiest Place on Earth was wherever she was.