So...finally have these things going...hopefully I'm using them correctly
Why I love books and cookies
August 5, 2014
Today’s post is one of the most important I have written since starting this blog. This is something that has nothing to do with beer, and while writing this is certainly of benefit to me (and I hope any family members who read it) what I am about to write has little to do with the therapeutic motivations for starting the blog. I am writing today because this is one of the meager means I have to share my love and gratitude for my grandmother Kathryn Larsen, who passed away this morning.
My grandma was the type of person that comes to mind when one thinks of the qualities that make a perfect grandparent. She was exceedingly kind to everyone she met, even in the most pedestrian of encounters. This was especially true with family, at least in my experience, and I have more memories than I can recount in a simple blog post of her going out of her way to make sure everyone was always comfortable, entertained and had something to eat. From the stories that I have heard from my mom and uncle this was something she had done long before I was around, proving this was more than just a trait she invoked around her grandchildren. This kindness was often accompanied by a keen perception of someone’s needs (one of Grandma’s many super powers). Even when I was only able to have brief conversations with her on the phone over the last year, she seemed to sense when I was struggling and would give me words of love and support even though I had called to do the same for her.
Education was also central to who grandma was. She spent 26 years as an elementary school teacher in Cheyenne, working with hundreds of children in that community. Even after retiring Grandma was still active in the classroom and would read to classes in Estes Park where my grandparents had a second home. She had even begun writing a children’s book, though I’m not sure if was ever actually published. This love of teaching carried over into her family life as well, and I still remember her showing me things like how to type and read in ways that made it seem like I was just doing something fun. I will forever credit her with sparking my love of books, science and music. Grandma also encouraged us to be imaginative and creative and would often set up easels with painting supplies for my sister and I to create our childhood masterpieces and pour Lego’s in the sunroom for us to make any number of castles and houses.
The last few days, my family and I have been preparing to say goodbye to this person that meant so much to us for so many different reasons. We’ve shared stories from our past about grandma/mom that made us laugh, and facts about her present that have made us cry. We have all come to understand that the lady who raised our family had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and other mental ailments that had been misdiagnosed until relatively recently. In some ways it is a relief to know that she is no longer suffering from all of the pain she had clearly expressed of late.
While this is sad, I prefer to focus on the wonderful memories I will always have of my grandmother. I will remember when she laughed so hard she couldn't talk when grandpa cracked one of his jokes. I will remember doing puzzles with her while the elk walked by their house in Estes. And of course, I will remember the way she made cookies, and always split one with me to "see if they were cool enough".
Thank you all for taking a moment to read about this awesome lady, I'm off to have a cookie and read a book.