Last week my sweet Grandma Beverly died at the age of 92. She loved Jesus, pictures, coffee, sports, game shows, and her family.
That picture was taken at her and my grandpa's 50th wedding anniversary. He died shortly after, so Grandma lived the last 20+years of her life as a widow.
I have so many wonderful memories of Grandma Beverly as a child. When we were kids, I remember going on walks. Just around the block after dinner, to the library for story time, or to the post office to pick up her mail. Once she took my siblings and I on a longer walk to the school and we somehow were followed by the asphalt truck, which left us no choice but to walk back home on the edge of a street freshly covered in asphalt. She was a trooper through that and dragging home three kids with shoes covered in black chunks didn't even appear to phase her.
Grandma always told me she was a "worrier." She particularly didn't like for anyone to be sick. I remember being sick at her house once when I was a kid and she was at my side constantly and checked on me throughout the night. Since then she has always called to check on me, and later, my kids if she heard that anyone had the slightest cough.
Grandma used to take us shopping for our birthdays. We got to pick the store and she set a spending limit. It started in the toy aisle at Wal-Mart, but then one year, trying to be as strategic as possible and make my gift last longer than plastic toys, I thought to move to the fish section. I still remember the globe shaped fish tank and the sucker fish that seemed to survive being cared for by a third grader. The next year we were dragging Grandma to Wayside Waifs to adopt a cat and she was there for it.
As I grew older Grandma took me to every orthodontist appointment I can remember, and most of the time we stopped by Quick Trip afterwards so I could pick a treat and she could get a coffee. My treat eventually became a cappuccino - so I can thank Grandma for initiating my strong caffeine addiction.
Grandma supporting our sporting endeavors (or in my case, bench sitting endeavors) by coming to a lot of our games, but as a retired teaching coming from a family of teachers, she prioritized education. She was always excited to talk about my report card or how my classes were going. Her attention was one of the strong motivators I had to do well in school.