Friday, April 18, 2014


My Grandma Swensen passed away early last week. We were expecting it to be soon. Bret and I were gone to the D.R. and since getting back things have been a little non-stop.  Now Bret is on another airplane back to Spain for 10 days.  I haven't felt that I've been able to sit down and think about her, I mean really reflect and mourn her.  Tomorrow morning is her funeral that I desperately want to go to, but cannot. So tonight, in the quiet of my home, I'm thinking of her.

 I wasn't around her much since she first found out she had cancer.  We live too far away.  I didn't go through the sights and everyday feelings of being there and living it.  I feel sad for that.  I wanted to hug her, take care of her and cry with her.  Although, a part of me feels grateful I didn't have to see the pain and sadness first person.  Grateful that I can still see her crisp and clear in my mind; healthy, full of energy and cheerfulness.  Oh she was a wonderful Grandma.

I did have a little time this morning before the kids woke up to think about some memories I have of her.  This is a small bit of my memories with Grandma and also with Grandpa, because he was most always there too.

I remember going to their house many times every week. We would make the 30 minute drive into town for various reasons.  Sports practice, shopping, errands, seeing grandparents and our dad who worked about a minute away from their house. Their house was a place of comfort for me.  It always felt like home.  Sometimes we would walk inside and get an instant smell of their tasty homemade bread.  She or grandpa would gladly cut us a slice and put butter on it.  They often would have something cooking and would always be willing to share. Sometimes she and grandpa would be downstairs watching TV and I would go cuddle up on the couch with them and watch too. Other times they would be outside and we would be put to work in the yard.  Many times I remember doing some sort of craft or creation with grandma.  We made some pretty fun things over the years of growing up.  She would be so excited to show me what porcelain item she was getting ready to fire. I thought that room full of pre-fired (I'm not sure what it's technically called) stuff was the neatest place ever.  She would let me fire something of my choice from time to time.  Whatever she was doing she shared with us.  She seemed happier and excited to invite you into her world.  She was eager to invite you into her world.  It was a happy place and I felt special for being there.

There were times when me and Maren would ask my Grandma to tell us stories about when she was young. I still remember many of them.  Those were tender times with her.

I don't know of many people who had the same kind of relationship with their grandparents as we did. I don't mean to sound braggy, but I mean that they are really amazing grandparents.  I hope that I can be as good of a grandma as mine was to me. I always knew I was lucky to have them so close and to know them so well. They helped raise us, they loved us and I felt secure in that love.  Those feelings that I have of them being involved on our childhood are irreplaceable. 

My mom mentioned near the end that my Grandma was concerned about what possessions she would give to whom.  I didn't think she needed to worry.  What she has left me with has far greater value than anything she could give me now. I have my whole lifetime of memories and I will never forget her. Goodbye for now Grandma.

(This is my Grandma Swensen, my mom, me and newborn Maren)