My Grandma was special.
A force to be reckoned with, she had 94 long years of life on this planet.
When she was born in 1911, people were just beginning to ride in cars, World War I (The war to end all wars) had yet to break out. There were still plenty of people alive who would be able to recall The Civil War.
Grandma came to see us every summer, and spent lots of Christmases with us. She was the grandmother most kids wanted -- one that would go anywhere with you and spoil you rotten.
But she didn't just spoil us, she tried to instill important lessons in us too...I remember when I was about 5 years old, she took me to the hospital when Grandpa was dying to show me what emphysema does to someone and caution me about the dangers of smoking.
She took us to the Oregon Coast, down to The Enchanted Village, or over to Aunt Bea's to say hello (she wasn't my aunt, but don't tell Grandma that, if you were a friend you were like family).
Sometimes for Easter Mom & Dad would send us to see Grandma and spend the week with her. She'd make matching dresses for my sister and me, and of course my big sister would be horrified at the thought of being dressed just like me.
She let us dress up in her old catillion gowns and we'd sit in the back of her 1970 Pontiac and she'd drive us around town so we wave at people and we could feel like princesses. Even my sister liked that.
There were many trips to Dunkin' Donuts up the street from her house, where she'd let us eat as many donuts as we wanted. If Mom had only known, she would have been mad.
Grandma's greatest gift to me was that she taught me to sew. When I was 7 she put me on phone books to reach the sewing machine, and 30 years later I've made countless quilts, outfits, wedding dresses and other things for people -- all because she took the time to share her gift with me.
I know she sewed well into her 80s for others as well, and I know it was hard on her when she couldn't do it anymore.
She had a way about her, and anyone who knew her knows exactly what I'm talking about. She lived life how she wanted to, and sometimes dragged us along with her.
Even though the Grandma Peterson I've known for years has been gone for a long time now as life faded from her, she will still be missed.
Thanks for everything, Gram.
I love you.