My Grandma passed away on Christmas Day 2010 at the young age of 96 1/2… I felt the need to write a few random memories.
My brother and I didn’t get to see our Grandma DeVos very much, and even less as we both lived lives which were far from her. She sometimes seemed a little awkward around us and I think she had trouble “getting” us. We always knew that she loved us.
She may not have had a high education. I believe she completed 8th grade. However, no one has her skill in the kitchen. Even I would eat her pork chops, and I cannot stand pork foods. She always put on a full table for every meal, then put on a show when we were unable to devour an entire chicken (per person): “I just don’t cook so good no more.”
She always had ice cream or cookies on hand. Usually great quantities of both. I will always associate her with memories of home baked goodness.
The summer that I stayed with her, she taught me how to use her riding lawn mower to mow her gigantic yard. Then allowed me to mow every week. I thought it was the greatest thing EVER. I am sure she thought me doing yard work was the greatest thing EVER.
She was one of the strongest women I have known. She was not a feminist and was one of the most classical 50’s style housewives you have ever seen. She was a farm-bred girl and could definitely pull her weight. She would spend hours in her garden, do laundry, take care of that huge yard, then manage to pull together the most amazing meal you have ever had.
She was in the July 1998 issue of National Geographic. It had an article about natural disasters and showed the picture of her walking to her mailbox with a mountain of snow behind her. That was the year her house had been buried under about 30 feet of snow. It took 6 hours to dig her out and she was interviewed by all kinds of reporters. She was on the nightly news and was on the front page of the USA Today. Her biggest worry was making sure all the reporters had enough to eat.
It did upset me greatly when I realized that she no longer recognized me. Until I made the decision that I would remember as she was from my childhood. I would have loved to have her know her great-grandchildren better, but I will be able to tell them about their wonderful great-grandma.
She was able to watch the midnight Christmas mass on TV with my aunt Cathy. Cathy was with her as she went on to her heaven. I hope she will always have many people to entertain and that they will all eat great quantities of food.
I told my friends that I would like to be like her when I get old. I never did tell her that. I did tell her that I loved her. I will miss her.