Friday, March 6, 2009


On a typical Calendar, one can find a special day in September set aside for Grandparents. Some may see this day as one to tell grandparents they are special, they are loved, or perhaps they are missed. I guess this is sort of like an addition to Mother's or Father's Day. I myself tend to neglect this day on the calendar. Not on purpose. But to tell you the truth, I didn't even pay attention to it until I had children of my own.

Grandparents Most certainly have a special place in our hearts. Both Living and passed on. Although I am terrible at remembering Grandparents in September, I think I make up for it in the month of March........

Gramp VanDenburg
August 27 1913 ~ March 4 2009

(parents of the bride 1975)

This is a picture of my Grandparent in-laws. Madolyn and Earl VanDenburg. I never had the pleasure of meeting Madolyn. She passed away just previous to my meeting Gary. But I did have the pleasure of getting to know and love Earl. Over the years, he amazed me with his Independence. When I met him he was already 78 years old.

"Earl enjoyed camping and many summer days spent at "the camp site" along the Hudson River. He played a little golf in his day, drowned a few worms, and enjoyed trips into hunting camp where many great stories were born. Earl possessed a quick wit and we were often amused by his "one liners" and astute observations." - Dorothy VanDenburg (taken from his obituary)

Earl passed away this week. Just about a month after being Diagnosed with Brain Cancer. In some respect the swiftness somehow becomes a blessing, although it doesn't make it any easier on the Family. When a loved one has cancer, you feel helpless. It doesn't seem natural at first to "accept" that there is nothing in your power you can do to save someone you love. Turns out the only thing you can do is "help". Your job now is to help them through their last days. Make sure they are comfortable, see to it in the most obvious of ways that they know how much they are loved. Take care of them in much of the same way they took care of you in the first days of your life. My husband and his family did a great job taking care of Grampa Earl these past few weeks. They should all be very proud of the way they showed him there love when he needed it most.

The scene was all too familiar for me. I too lost my Grandfather to Cancer. The Anniversary of his passing will be 4 years this coming Sunday.

Grampa Hoddie

April 8 1923 ~ March 8 2005

My Daughter Just turned 4 two months ago, but oddly it seems like she has been with us forever. Grampa Hoddie has been gone 4 years now, and it still feels like yesterday. I am confident that he knows how much he was loved. sometimes It comforts me to think he is still a part of our lives, just on a different level. We have traditions we will never break because they were special to him, we started new traditions in his honor that I know he would be proud of. He is deeply missed every day of the year.......But when the 8th comes around, either March or April, we pause for extra prayers, extra "messages to heaven", some of us advocate harder for people to schedule their colonoscopies, and most of us start thinking about making his favorite bean and potato soup.

March 8th is also My Grandmother's Birthday. This year Gramma Claire will be 84. - As we grieve for our grandfather, we go the extra mile to lift the sadness of that date and continue to make it a celebration of her birthday, which she now also shares with one of her great great grandchildren. Coincidentally, before my Father's Mother passed away, she also shared the March 8th Birthday.

So as you can see, The first week of March is a rough one around my house. But as the years go by, we find new ways to Celebrate their LIVES. It is a week of Grandparents. Letting them know they are loved, they are special, and they are missed.


Jennifer W said...

Oh, I don't know if this is the right place to offer condolences for the 1st time, but we are so sorry for your loss. I'll talk to you soon. Hang in there.

PS: That bean and potato soup is pretty fantastic.

corin said...

you said it. i have no words for this, except that a lady called from another department telling me she needed a document b/c this was her last day before going out on a family leave to care for her father who is home with hospice with a brain tumor. Of course I told her that there is no place else she should be and to take care of herself.

Momma@Live. Laugh. Pull your hair out said...