May 15, 2010

Carol Jean

Sometimes we get dealt cards that we can't control. Both of my grandmothers died before I was born and I have spent my whole life wondering what they were really like and what it would be like to have a relationship with both of these women. I love heritage and have always felt as if there was a gap in my own. I know it's there but there is just a disconnect. Its kind of like little kid memories. Some of my earliest memories at 2 or 3 also have a picture somewhere that was taken. Usually I didn't actually remember something but the picture told a story and that made it feel like a memory. This is how I feel about my grandmothers. I have heard stories and seen pictures and they seem so real, but at the end of the day I really never met these women.

A few weeks ago I was able to feel more connected to the story of my Grandma Carol Jean than ever before. My dad decided to do the MS Walk in Portland and I was invited along. It was great. I was so amazed at all the people that have been affected by the same disease (MS) that took my grandmother 40 years ago. As we walked and talked about life I was reminded how small my hardships are compared to those walking down this scary path of MS.

I was so thankful for an opportunity to use my feet to say something of importance about my grandmother. I was able to connect with her journey, her struggles and be an advocate on her behalf.

The following weekend Jordan and I went down to LA for a conference and was able to stay with my Uncle Paul and also spend the day at Disneyland with my Aunt Janet. It was a blast! (post to follow). The whole day I felt torn between running around like a kid from ride to ride and sitting with Aunt hearing more stories of this grandmother I never knew. A few times I stayed back from the rides just to hear more. I was so captivated with her stories of things I never knew. Now I know that my grandma Carol was a very organized, well-kept woman. She loved to bake, help at the schools, take care of her home, and love her 4 children in the details of their life. These words were so life-giving. In a lot of ways I think I'm just like my grandma Carol and knowing that makes my heart overflow with peace. Thanks Aunt Janet for gifting me with stories and your memories of a woman that I love so much and never knew. She doesn't feel much like a stranger anymore.

My grandma Carol and grandpa Bob on their wedding day.

Jordan and I on our wedding day.

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