December 12, 2014

To my angel, my Grandma.

It was a Wednesday.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

November 26th is etched in my memory.

Kyllie, Cody, Hank, Henry, Mom, Dad, Kolby, and Kade were all at my family's house, each of us prepping the big feast. Since most of us worked Thanksgiving evening some time, we decided to do our dinner together on Wednesday. (Kaitlyn & Kamron couldn't make it). Mom and I set out an ornament wreath we had made you and Sharonie, and were putting last minute things together and in the ovens. I remember so vividly that morning talking with my mother about the things she remembered about her grandma growing up, and I was telling her the things I remember about you. I brought up the way you read to me, with such narration and joy, and the particular book that was my absolute favorite for you to read to me over and over again. Mom told me she thought she had the book downstairs, and I planned on setting it out to hear you read it once more, this time to Henry. It was 1:30, you and Grandpa along with Sharonie were supposed to be arriving at two.

Then Mom's phone rang.

Just thinking about that phone call sends a deep chill of sorrow down my spine.

It's something I will never ever forget.

At first I was thinking it was my Grandpa simply telling Mom that you all were running late, or simply just were too tired to come out today.

No, it was much much worse.

Mom shrieked in pure panic, pacing and crying out.


She ran to her room.

Kyllie and I instantly panicked, and bolted into her room. Mom was on the phone in her closet, clutching her hands and sobbing. We didn't know what she had been informed with, but we sat as close by as we could.

We then heard the news.

You had gone, Grandma.

I remember being hit with a wave of hysterical sobs, and all of us grasped each other close in our despair. It was as if the world stood still, all time had stopped. I ran out to call my sister, Kaitlyn. I trembled to dial her number, and just about as she was walking into work, she recieved the dreadful news herself.

Her moment of panic set in as well.

The rest is a total blur to me. Something about grief and the way your mind and heart deals with it is truly difficult, but all I remember is taking it so hard as a family. Grandpa came out later to be with us, and we tried to eat. Nobody had appetites. It took all our might to press on. Just like that, in a whirl we were thrown into an occasion without you. To say it was heartbreaking was an understatement.

I held Grandpa's hand for you. Long and hard.

I know he needed it.

Despite his own deep sorrow, he tried to be strong for you.

And for all the people you loved.

He was a rock, comforting everyone there, as well as on the phone calls throughout the evening.

Once again, from here there is more blur in my memory.

and there still is.

My heart is in complete shock.

I feel like you are just going to pull back in your driveway, or I'm going to open my mailbox to find your frequent postcard again.

I listen to your saved voicemails.

I look for any and everything you've given/written me.

I cling on to you, Grandma.

I probably always will.

Grandma, you were such a sincere, special person to me. Every time you told me you loved me, I could tell it wasn't out of habit or to make conversation; you told me because you felt it so genuinely in your heart and you wanted to share your heart with me. You shared your heart of gold. There is not a single thing in your life that you didn't commit to without passion. Your marriage with Grandpa was once in a lifetime. I remember the way you adored each other, respected each other, and truly brought out the best in each other. I remember living with you for a period of time, and once a week, you and Grandpa would dance in the kitchen together. You had 49 years of loyalty and love for each other, and that is truly inspirational. You were an extraordinary teacher. You adapted and harvested a love for learning in each child you taught, and you went beyond the limits of reaching out to make sure that you taught each child in the best way they could learn. At your viewing, I read students letters you had kept over the years. Almost all signed, "I love you Mrs. McCall." Students loved you. How amazing is that? You were an amazing sister. Watching you with your twin sister made me fond of wanting a close bond with my own sisters. You were so protective and affirming of Sharonie, it was the strongest of love. I remember you two showed up so many times all dolled up dressed as a pair; it was adorable to see your day to day routine together. I can't begin to tell you how much she misses you. You were literally a part of her, and that part she loves so so much.

I'll always remember your collection of cooking aprons, and how you wore them whenever you made something. I'll always remember growing up playing restaurant, and you letting us write Grandpa's order down in your aprons. I'll always remember you narrating as Grover, in my favorite book, "The Monster at the End of this Book". I'll always remember when you took us girls with Grandpa to Downeta to camp and swim. I'll always remember the time you thought you had put sparklers on great Grandma Betty's cake, only to find out they were bottle rockets. I'll always remember when you took my friend and I to Lava Hot Springs to celebrate going into junior high. I'll always remember the time we watched an International Dance Festival in Idaho Falls, and how you drove over the median and said "don't tell Grandpa, he's so finicky about cars." I'll always remember having game nights with you, Grandpa, and Hank. We got so good at the game Sequence! I'll always remember you being there to meet Henry the day he was born, and the day I became a mother. I'll always remember you helping me on my wedding day, cutting the cake and dancing. I'll always remember going to your house and watching a Peter Pan musical movie with trail mix. I'll always remember how you helped me bake a cake and surprise my dear friend, Courtney, for her birthday. I'll always remember playing "Hi-Ho Cherry-O!" and "Break-the-Ice" as kids with you. I'll always remember your random cards and phone calls, they were just when I needed them. There's COUNTLESS things I will always remember, because you were so wonderful.

Because of you, I now believe in Angels.

As you would say, "I love you beary much."

I will always dream a little dream of you.

For the rest of my life, I will search for moments full of you.

XOXO, Kess

Grandma and I 
5th Generation Picture. 

GMA & GPA's house, November 2013
Mom & Grandma, my wedding. 2009
GPA and GMA, newlyweds
Cutting & serving my wedding cake, 2009
My favorite book you read to me. 
Holding Grandpa's hand at Thanksgiving dinner, 2014
Grandma's last famous Pretzel Berry Jello Salad

Grandpa with Mom & Jennie