Friday, October 24, 2008

LaReal Nadene Mitchell Calderwood Pettijohn

Today is my grandma’s funeral. She passed away on Oct. 16th in Bremerton, Washington. Since I’m close to delivering this baby, I decided not to attend. I’m a little too nervous to fly – afraid I’ll end up going into labor in Anchorage while my kids are stuck down here. But I wanted to pay tribute to her and let her know how much I love her and will miss her. I am happy for her though. She has been waiting 21 years to see my Grandpa again, so I know she is rejoicing. The past few years were really hard on her – she had severe diabetes which they couldn’t ever seem to keep under control. She was in a full care facility in Washington near my Aunt Korene, her youngest daughter.

My Grandma was an amazing person. I LOVED going to Grandma’s house. We got to visit her often because she didn’t live too far away (3 hours) and we always had a blast. They had an old intercom system in their house and Grandpa would get on it to call us kids upstairs for dinner. He always said something funny like “Tiffany, Brant and Ryan, come on down, you’re the next contest on the Price is Right!” They had a basement room where we always used to play. Their food storage was down there too and we always used to get into the wheat and chew a handful of it. Grandpa told us if we chewed it long enough it would turn to gum. Mine never did though.

Grandma always had Ovaltine. Always. And she used to let us eat it right out of the can – a tradition I’ve passed down to my children. We used to go to Grandma’s house for Thanksgivings and Christmases. She had a huge dining table, which I inherited a few summers ago (thanks Grandma!). I remember doing homework at it, eating countless meals there, watching the city lights from the windows behind it. Grandma had one of those doors in her kitchen – it slid in and out of the wall. I always thought that was the coolest door – I’d never seen one before. Everything in Grandma’s house was straight out of the 60s and 70s – it was cool! She had a chair in her living room that used to rock back and forth and spin all the way around. We used to spin till we were sick or it would tip over. It was white with brown and orange flowers.

She had a staircase with metal bars for the railing. I remember that Ryan got his head stuck through them one time and we couldn’t get him out. I think we even tried putting butter all over his head. Finally, Grandpa came along and suggested that pushing him out backwards – slipping his body through the bars instead of his head. Why we didn’t think of that, I’ll never know.

Grandma had raspberries in her backyard that we used to pick. We used to take turns mowing her lawn and every day we’d fight over who got to run out and check the mail at the end of the driveway. We used to walk down the street to A&W and get root beer floats. We always had a good time at Grandma’s house.

Grandma and Grandpa also had a cabin across the bay in Homer that we used to love going to. Every 4th of July we’d head out to the cabin for a long weekend. One of my favorite pictures of Grandma is this one. Kenny was helping her get back on the boat so we could go home.
It was at Grandma and Grandpa’s house that I broke my neck and had to spend a while up there with them recovering.
Grandma was there when Jeremey and I went through the temple in September 2000.
This last picture is of Grandma and Savannah in February 2003 at my mom’s house.
I don’t have a picture of Isabelle with Grandma, but we gave Isabelle the middle name of Nadene, after my Grandma. My Grandma was a wonderful woman who I’ll miss dearly. I’m sure she’ll be watching over us throughout the years just as Grandpa has been. I’m happy for her and look forward to the day I’ll see her again as well.


Dana said...

Those are such wonderful memories. It makes me think of my Grandma who died 2 years ago. I miss her too. Isn't it nice to have the knowledge that we do that we can see them again. It makes it not quite as hard to loose them.

Jenny said...

i'm sorry about your grandma. even though we know where they are and that they're ok, it's still easy to miss them.

i didn't know you'd broken your neck!!!

The Smith Family said...

so sorry to read about your grandma.