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Letters to Norene

brushing my Mom's hair 
sweethearts for over fifty years

Dear Grandma Norene,

I've been thinking a lot about you lately, and missing you. I'm so lucky to have spent 22 years of my life getting to learn from you. What an amazing, kind and giving woman.

Lucky for me, you raised a daughter to be just like you. And I've had an amazing role model for a mother as well. It's fun when Mom says something, or does something, that reminds me of you. You often hear people say "oh no, I'm turning into my mother!" but I think in our case, we are so blessed.

One thing I learned from watching you, is that you treated everyone with love and respect. It didn't matter their background, status, or where they came from. You greeted everyone with loving, and open arms. I've tried to remind myself lately that this is the way people should be treated. And remember to handle difficult situations with grace, and offer the same genuine kindness to everyone I meet. It's not always easy, but I know it is the best way. I don't know how you raised seven kids (five boys) and stayed such a sweet and gentle lady!

I am so thankful that I was able to go on the RV trip with you and Grandpa up to Washington. Those are some of the best memories, especially climbing up on the roof of the RV to watch the sunset. I wish I could find those pictures. We had so many wonderful camping trips over the years for family reunion. We're so lucky you planned that time for everyone to be together. Playing games, swimming, eating "Mexican garbage" and ebelskivers. Luckily, Grant is a pro at making both Mexican garbage and ebelskivers, so we get together and reminisce sometimes.

You were always such a sport about playing games with us, we teased you to no end about making up rules and cheating. But you loved having everyone together around the table to play games. And we still love a good game of chicken foot dominos in your honor. 

You are greatly missed. I often think about one of the last things you said to me. That I should be a nurse. Sometimes I wonder about it, and think of going back to school. It meant a lot to me, under the circumstances, when you said that to me. I am happy that I could help, even just a tiny bit, to care for you.

I will continue to smile, and think of you when I arrange a vase of fresh cut flowers, play a game, read children's books, or see something about Elvis on television. We have Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and I can't wait to put on a show for Phillip this Christmas. Of the so many wonderful things you taught us, most importantly was that family comes first. Thank you for being such an amazing, strong role model. Not only for me, but our entire family. I know each and every one of your grandchildren misses you and thinks of you often.

I love you,


at the Dutch Flat pool

** I'm sure if anyone in my family read this, they would be confused about the Elvis comment. But I have a very vivid memory of watching an Elvis documentary/biography on TV late one night when staying at Grandma's. I don't know if I remember it because it was interesting, or because she let me stay up past midnight to watch it with her. 



1 comment:

  1. Very cool letter, Theresa!! I didn't know you had a blog. I hope to keep on reading it as you write them. Gma was a very great lady. Thank you for posting the pics too. I hope you are doing great in SF!!
    Love you!
    Aunt Colleen


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