Steve's grandma Annabelle died yesterday morning. She was 96 years old and ready to go "home", but we still mourn her loss.
Grandma greeted me with hugs the first time I ever met her and always treated me as if I were another of her grandchildren. The last of my grandparents died a few years after Steve and I were married, so it felt good to have another "grandma" in my life. And Grandma was a character! She grew up in the Oklahoma panhandle during the Depression in circumstances that had to have been dire, but she had fond memories of her childhood. She lived frugally all her life and was either very independent or very stubborn, depending on whom you asked. Grandma loved sports, especially Royals baseball and KU basketball, and had an opinion on just about everything. She was a good cook and her chocolate cakes were amazing. For years, she baked a chocolate cake for each grandchild for Christmas - the grandkids had to supply the cake carrier. She also put up endless jars of apricot preserves from her huge apricot tree. I remember arriving at her house once to find 87 year old Grandma barefoot and six foot off the ground in the apricot tree! Grandma was funny and feisty and I always looked forward to seeing her.
When Steve and I began the adoption process, we worried about how Grandma would accept our future children. Adoption was something of a foreign concept to her and her ideas on race were those of her Depression era upbringing. What was she going to think about a Chinese great granddaughter? We needn't have worried! Grandma and Katherine adored each other from the first time they set eyes on one another. Grandma loved talking to Katherine and singing K-K-K-Katie to her. Katherine loved visiting Great Grandma's house and playing with the box of 40 year old toys stored in the front bedroom. By the time Rachel came home, Grandma's health was beginning to fail and she had moved into an assisted living facility. But she still loved seeing my girls. Steve's parents would print off my blog and take it to Grandma, so she could see the pictures and hear the stories. I always took pictures of the girls with their Great Grandma, because I knew their time with her would be short. I am so glad that I did!