My grandmother was a wonderful grandma. Here a few of the stories my cousins and sister have shared...
Rod's son, Jamie, sent me this...
"I have a story about a special memory that I have with Grandma. It took place in February 2003 on Valentine's weekend. I was at BYU Provo for a semester before going on my mission. I guess I was too shy to ask a girl on a date for Valentine's Day or maybe the girls were not interested in me because I was not an returned missionary. Anyways, I instead took the bus and train up to Salt Lake City to spend the weekend with Grandma. We had a nice weekend together but the highlight was our valentine's night candle light dinner that we had together. Grandma was just about to prepare dinner when the power we out. So instead of a hot dinner we made tuna sandwiches, juice, and other stuff. Since the lights were out we had to put candles on the table for light. We had a great time eating sandwiches and talking story about everything. I had a fun time visiting with Grandma that weekend. When my friends and family asked what I did for Valentine's day I told them that I had a candle light dinner with Grandma. It was so romantic...hahaha. She was a great person and the best Grandma."
Loretta's daughter, Amy, shared this with me...
"I have been thinking about Grandma and what a wonderful cook she was: When I was a teenager I would catch the bus near my home and it would drop me off right by Grandma and Grandpa's apartment downtown. I loved to go stay with them on the weekends and did that several times a year. Grandma always let me cook with her and one time in particular she taught me how to make Chicken Pot Pie, (which is still one of my favorite recipes of hers) and cream puffs. The next morning we walked over to Crossroads mall and she bought me a red-and-white-checkered blank cookbook titled I'm Making My Own Cookbook. When we got back to her house I copied down the recipes we had made the night before, and lots of others. I still have my recipe book and still add to it. And, it has a sweet hand written message to me from Grandma written in the front cover. I think of her every time I use it. Obviously I have tons of memories of grandma, but spending time with her in the her kitchen are some of my favorites!"
D.R.'s daughter, Wendy, sent this...
"From the time I was very young I always knew that Grandma loved me! Some memories that I have very young were first, I loved her jewelry and would always sneak in her bedroom and put on her earrings and necklaces. She would catch me and tell me nicely to stay out of her stuff, but each time I would go over I would still sneak in and she would lovingly shew me out. Some other memories were her small mini cereal boxes that she had and she would let us choose which cereal we wanted when we spent the night, I thought that was the coolest thing ever! I also remember having morning prayers with Grandma and Grandpa, kneeling by the kitchen chairs in their home. I thought Grandpa would never end his prayer, they seemed so long, but the prayers were always beautiful.
I remember also when Grandma and Grandpa would come over to visit, I would immediately sit next to Grandma and lay my head on her lap and she would stroke my hair and tickle my back, I always felt so loved by her when she did that!
Grandma was always forgiving and I never heard her speak ill of anyone, something I always admired. She loved me no matter what I did or said, she accepted me for who I was and who I've become!!
The one memory that I'm forever grateful for her and for Grandpa is when my mother was killed and they had to make the long journey to Cedar City to pick up Tina and me. I thought many times of how hard that must of been on them and the load they had to carry in helping us in that sad situation! They moved in with us for a while and just took over until my dad could get back up on his feet. I've thought of this many times over the years and I've told both of them thank you several times for this sacrifice that they had made for our family at that time,I feel I could never thank them enough for that. They were the best grandparents anyone could ever ask for!
I love grandma very much and I feel lucky to have had her so long in my life and in the lives of my children!!"
Here are some memories from my sister, Kristin...
"Some of my favorite childhood memories are with Grandma and Grandpa. Our birthday dinners were the best, they took us on our birthday wherever we wanted for dinner and we could take one person,I always took my cousin Amy and she always took me!It was a plot for us to get 2 dates a year with Grandma and Grandpa! We always went to the Hawaiian and had a big feast! We loved it! Amy and I spent a lot of time at their house and we would always play "Hawaii". We would turn Grandma's picnic table over on its side, drape flowers and leis all over it, sit on the ground and use the bench for a table, then we would get Grandma's tape recorder and play Hawaiian music and she would bring us lunch to eat outside! It was so much fun! One day we were "pretending" to eat a great feast and we proceeded to make "salad" out of the plastic flowers and leaves that Grandma had all over her yard. I am sure she wasn't happy about it, but I don't remember her ever being cross with us!
Another childhood memory was lying on her blue bedspread and going through her jewelry box for hours! We thought she must be very rich to have such beautiful jewelry! Most of it was large costume jewelry, necklaces, clip on earrings and broaches, all with sparkly jewels! She was so sweet to let us play with her things! I would love to have a piece to remind me of her!
I know she kept everything we ever made her, she was very sentimental about those things! She loved making things with us. When I was young we would go to KD Craft and by ceramics and come home and paint them together. I loved spending that time with her. she always made me think that mine were the most beautiful things!
I remember playing air hockey and pool in the basement with all of the cousins, and great big family parties, I miss those! Thanksgiving and Christmas there was always a huge feast and Grandma was a wonderful cook! We had so much fun making potato volcanoes with corn and gravy running down the side! I think because our Uncle Rod lived in Hawaii we were all obsessed with it! Christmas was wonderful, Grandpa always wore his elf costume and Grandma always put everyone's bows in her hair!
After I had my own children we would take them every Halloween to see Great Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma always had a special little Halloween treat just for the grandkids that came to see them, and she still let them get candy from the trick or treat bucket! Valentines was special too, Grandma always made sugar cookie hearts with pink icing and decorated them for all of us and our kids! We loved that!
Every time I had a baby I looked forward to coming home and dinner from Grandma! She always made us a big chicken pot pie to last at least 2 days, homemade rolls and a big container of cookies!
When my two oldest boys were little we lived in one of their (my grandparent's) apartments and got to spend a lot of time with them. My little boys thought that was great. They would follow them around when they were working! When my youngest son was born very sick and spent a lot of his first year in the hospital they would take care of my other 2 so I could stay with him at the hospital all day while their dad worked. I will always be grateful for that.
When I remarried and gained 5 new kids, they were so happy for us. They always made my husband's kids feel like they were as much theirs as the rest of the kids and that was so sweet of them. Dave and I lived next to Grandma in her apartment building for about 6 months when we were in the process of moving into a home. We had 9 kids and our bed was in the living room! 2 bedrooms upstairs had boys each and the 3rd had our oldest son in one half and boxes to the ceiling in the other half! Our daughter Stacy stayed next door with Grandma upstairs in her house. What a special time for us to spend with her, Stacy grew very close to her during this time. We were so grateful to her for her help!
Grandma never missed a birthday card for any one of our kids! She was so thoughtful and kind. In the past couple of years after we adopted our little girl I would stop often to visit Grandma and we would have long talks about all of my cousins and their families and what everyone was up to, it amazed me that she could remember everything and she was so proud of all of them. She was so sweet with Ellie and let her listen to her music box on the coffee table and Ellie loved her, you could tell she could feel Grandma's love.
What an incredible woman, I could sit for hours reciting memories of her, she was such a great example of kindness, charity, love and compassion. I hope I grow up to be like her one day!"
A few of my own memories...
"One of the things I remember about my grandparents during my childhood is that they used to take each of their grandkids out to dinner for their birthdays. So, it was just me and grandma and grandpa. I loved this. The dinners always made me feel so special. I also was so excited that on my 16th birthday, my grandparents gave me a "Hope Chest" (cedar chest). Each of their granddaughters got a cedar chest, and they paid for their grandsons LDS missions.
I hope to become the kind of grandmother that my grandma was. She had a way of making each one of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren feel special. Earlier this year, my oldest son, Grant, took his 3 brothers and went to visit Grandma while I was out of town. They had a wonderful time, and I'm grateful they took this opportunity. I'm sure you can understand that losing her this month has been very hard. But, we all have wonderful memories of her.
Tomorrow, I'll be wrapping this week up with the story of Grandma's later life - being in business with Grandpa, their retirement, and the story of her greatest sacrifice. Just wait until you hear that story! You'll be amazed.