How can ONE person effect so many lives?
Dear Mom and Dad,
Today was a full day. Uncle Nick took his last final… and the holiday season now in full swing for all the campers. NO SCHOOL. It was also our annual memorial skate, in honor of Great Grandma Betty, sadly our third… and yet, this is the “good” thing or part…
Nana says growing up Great Grandma Sally always had all the family over… it was tradition. Relatives gathered at their home year after year… and it was where everyone wanted to be. Sitting – talking, visiting with friends and family. MEMORIES… THAT WILL NOT EVER BE FORGOTTEN. Traditional foods each year, and laughter …. then Nana married, and while Nana likes to blame it on being young, she failed her marriage…..luckily, despite what usually can happen, her exhusband’s family… her mother in law, and father in law, and the rest of his family, as well as her ex himself, kept Nana around… they always included all the campers, and have always had that same kind of tradition where everyone wanted to hang out at Great Grandma Betty’s and Great Grandpa Ray’s home, nibbling, laughing, playing, and spending time together.
When Nana was young, I am not sure she knew how important that time was. I don’t think she ever told her mom, or Great Grandma Betty what it all meant to her. Then after being divorced… was given yet another opportunity to have a mother in law… and a father in law… from which she learns more and more everyday and still Nana doesn’t ever say what is really in her heart! THE CRAZY THING IS, that all of these people are now a much bigger and connected family.
Nana always thought she would have kids, and they would grow up saying… they had an awesome childhood, with awesome memories! Nana would go to the zoo and if it rained jump in the puddles with the kids, or she would make holiday cookies with the kids and her mom would join in. They would spend time each summer up north and have memories to last them a lifetime…. she thought she could erase some of the traumas of the past that her kids all experienced in some way or another… like her being divorced once… or the pain and loss of her daughters mother may somehow be eased… with enough love, and enough effort… alas, it is and will always be a past full of pain and heartache that no one can ERASE… hopes of ‘perfect childhoods’ may have diminished, but the hope that they will somehow know we wanted to erase their pain – and or ease it a bit still exists.
Then Nana said to herself, and now to me, that she hoped she would be the kind of MOTHER or mother in law, like hers have been, one who listens to her kids, and who loves her children’s spouse like thier own, who knows how to make the girl or guy who holds the heart of one of her children – feel just like one of her own kids… just the way Nana has been treated. Instead, Nana is as overbearing as she was overprotective of her kids, and yes… she knows she will never be “a Great Grandma Sally” or “a Great Grandma Betty” She will not be “a Great Grandma Sharyn” – they are out of her league.
Tonight at this skate, this memorial, Nana looked out and she saw Grandfathers skating with grandsons and granddaughters… she saw her sister in law, with her mom, watching as Grandpa Larry skated with all the kids… with YOU AND DAD IN KUWAIT on your way to the Land of Sand, Great Grandma Sally and Grumpy in Washington and Great Grandma Sharyn and Papa Alan in Florida, it was far from being perfect, but I know that both sets of grandparents, as well as both of you, and Great Grandma Betty, would be MORE THAN HAPPY JUST KNOWING WE WERE ALL TOGETHER and I was happy.
Uncle Nick missed last year, as he was on an island in the South Pacific, without electricty let alone ice! This year he was back and got to share something very special to him with someone very special… making the day even more exciting. Aunt Arri also had a friend from her elementary days at school and who also once lived in Romania join us… an added bonus! Uncle Brian who usually has to work, was able to make it to dinner, and next year, we are having it when the LIONS HAVE AN AWAY GAME! Uncle Rick was there too, even though he could not skate, but it just made for a special time for all of us. Aunt Karen skated… and Aunt Allyssa was a goalie! Uncle Jim too… ! Heather came with Trevor all the way from the Carolina’s to be here for it, and brought Loni and her husband and son! Kurt and Eric were there, and brought a friend… Uncle Dave kept score and the clock. You can see, it was chock full of family and friends. Aunt Kris says she may skate next year, with her dad Grandpa Larry while her mom and Nana look on. We hope that we can do this when Great Grandma Sharyn is here, and Papa Alan too.
Next year, we hope that cousin Noah who adores hockey with be there to skate… and we hope that Aunt Ida, will relay to cousin Adam and his sisters, and Cousin Micheal… THAT WE HOPE THEY TOO WILL SKATE. The date is made nearly a year in advance so we will let everyone know when it is … and we will hope that our skate/or spectator ship in some cases (Nana is a definate spectator…) , will be even better with each passing year. Nana says, that she hopes Great Grandpa Ray went home tonight feeling what an impact his wife and he has made… and sees all the lives effected by the way Great Grandma Betty made people feel.
A photo was taken as is each year of the group, and this year, I AM IN IT. Which will clearly qualify it as the best photo they have taken yet. I was very good, and loved watching them skate. I was fascinated. Even though I have been still ‘irritated’ by my “shot’s” I laughed, and played, and entertained everyone… the whole time. Nana took me back to camp a little early so I would not get too tired. I had fun though. You and Dad were missed and were thought of by Nana, as she wishes for you, daddy and I the kind of happiness she and Poppy have had – or a the kind of things that the two of you want for us, things that make you both happy, and it may not be huge family, or the demands that come with it. All she hopes is that we live happily ever after. Nana also hopes Great Grandma Sally knows, how much Nana appreciates all she has done to give her this life, and always listens, and has been the kind of mom in law, that Nana needs to learn how to be!
Hoping your travels are going well, and that you enjoy my photo shoot… I am as always YOUR LITTLE MISS ADORABLE, YOUR DAUGHTER,
Sorry all the skaters are not shown in these photos, because so many others were there, and spectators too that Nana and the beast did not capture, SINCE POPPY HAD THE BEAST AND NANA HAD ME! But in the next few days, Aunt Karen and Aunt Pam will get more photos to Nana I am sure!