Goodbye Grandma Helen

Over the Labor Day weekend Max and I flew to Story City, Iowa for my Grandma Helen's memorial service.
 The first night Snork's cousin Larry and his wife Deb hosted a BBQ for all the family that was in town.  It was really wonderful to see many of the people we met at the family reunion 5 years earlier in Omaha.  I finally was able to trace families and connect them together.  Everyone enjoyed catching up and talking about Grandma Helen.
Grandma was cremated after she died in March.  We were sure to bring Grandma to the party.  If there is one thing she would have wanted, it would have been to be at the party and for everyone to be happy and not cry.
 Grandma Helen was buried next to her son Edward, who died in the Vietnam War.  Story City created a memorial in his honor at the city pool.
 My Mom wrote a touching eulogy that my sister Melanie gave.  I admire Mel so much for being able to hold her emotions in check and talk so eloquently about the love and memories she has of Grandam.  When it was my turn to tell of a fond memory of a time with G'ma H, I fell to pieces and barely had a coherent story.  It was touching to hear the many memories people were willing to share.
 Here are all Grandma Helen's sons and nieces and nephews.
 Here is the crew of extended family and friends that gathered from near and far to say goodbye to G'ma H.
 It was clear talking with everyone how Grandma Helen had touched so many hearts.  She was a little lady with a lot of spunk and a die hard Republican that was very involved in politics throughout her life.   She wore a smile with bright red lipstick, always had a jolly hug, and a warm heart.
A huge hole will be left in our hearts until we meet again.  We love you Grandma.
While we were in Story City we were able to take a tour of Snork's childhood town.  Many of his classmates still live there.  One of his childhood friends owns the house Snork grew up in.  He was kind enough to give us a tour and let Snork show us his old bedroom and tell us many stories.  The new  owners even say the ghost Sylvia still walks the steps as Snork had told us she did when he lived there.
The Dollar General is where Snork's Dad's grocery store use to be.  It is special to now be able to put a picture with all of the fun and wild stories of Snork's youth.
 We even took a trip into Aims to see Snork's alma mater, Iowa State, and see his old fraternity house.  Talk about a small college town.  We couldn't find a bar open on Sunday afternoon anywhere!
However, we would not be deterred and managed to sample a little Iowa grown bacon and some Iowa brewed beer. :)
 The final night we had a nice dinner with Mom, Snork, Mel, Uncle Bob, Paul (Snork's best friend), Paul's daughter and son-in-law.
The closeness of people from a small town is rarely found today.  There is something wonderful about the continuity of people growing up, living there lives, and dying in the same town.  In today's world it seems weddings or funerals are the occasions that bring out family bonding and connecting.  I imagine we are missing much in between.

1 comment:

Lacey said...

I'm sorry for the loss of Grandma Helen Katie!!! I love her just from your post--die hard republican and bright red lipstick!! What a sweet trip to honor her memory. May her memories always bring a smile to your face. xoxoxo