I realize that yesterday was Mother’s Day, but it occurred to me that a few other women have made pretty big impacts on my life, and I thought I might share with you some of my favorite memories from my Grandma Helen, Grandma Irene, and Aunt Kathy.
Grandma Helen. Grandma Helen is my mom’s mom, and just as I got much of my independence from my mom, I think my mom got hers from Grandma Helen. Grandma taught me a lot as a kiddo, but my favorite teaching moment is when she taught me to make noodles. Noodle-making is pretty simple, but she wanted everyone to remember my first batch of noodles, so we dyed them GREEN! And no one in my family has forgotten them. Grandma Helen also taught me how to play Chinese Checkers; provided an endless supply of Chex Mix for Jacob and me; told me stories about my mom, Aunt Kathy, and Uncle Michael before nap times; and taught me how to rotate groceries in her pantry—a week-long project that usually occupied spring break.
Grandma Irene. Grandma Irene is my dad’s mom, and she often watched Jacob and me when Mom had to run extended errands in town. A visit to Grandma Irene’s usually included a walk to Optimist Park by way of the golf course and pond behind her house, and she always provided yummy snacks of apples, cheese, lemonade, and sandwiches. She frequently took me to the Henry County Museum, and much of what I know about local history comes from her. She also had an old typewriter that I loved to play with, and that’s probably one of the reasons I love office supplies and technology today.
Aunt Kathy. Aunt Kathy is my mom’s sister and is sort of my surrogate mother. I was her only niece for 21 years, so I got a lot of special treatment, including special packages on fun holidays. Like my mom, she too taught me a lot about being independent, and like a good aunt, told me it was OK to disagree with my parents from time to time. Aunt Kathy always has plenty of animals, including kittens and puppies and horses and goats and bunnies, and even though I might be too old to love going to the farm to see the animals, I still do! She also made both my prom dresses; seven years after high school, and I still cannot bear to part with them!
I have to admit that I’ve been pretty spoiled by the women in my life. It certainly helps that I was the oldest grandchild and only granddaughter on both sides of the family for 18 and 21 years. I haven’t even mentioned my Aunt Donna—when we’re together, I’m sometimes mistaken as her daughter—or my Aunt Lisa, who introduced me to Bon Jovi . Then there’s my best friend Jenny and her mom (who helped raise me, too) and my college roommates Amy, Betsy, and Alyssa. And of course there’s my super mother-in-law Martha and my sisters-in-law Kimberly and Jennifer who rock, too! I love all of you!