Monday, September 26, 2011

Moving Forward...

I guess part of me hasn't wanted to blog since my last post. I didn't want to move the post about my grandma any further down the run. Like if I do - it's a metaphor for me having to accept it and move on. And...I am not ready for that reality.

I find myself just checking the "My Chummie" post or looking at the beautiful cards and two roses on my windowsill to remember that it's even a reality that my grandma has even passed.

Like it or not though, life is moving on. No one reminds me of that more everyday than D. He doesn't stop moving for anyone or anything. And he's always kept me on point that way. My natural tendencies to wallow or get depressed are squashed with the little light that I have by my side.

This post doesn't really have a point. I think it's just ripping off the band-aid. Moving me forward. And there's so much I have coming up that I love:

D's THIRD birthday (I refuse to accept this reality as well) is coming up. We're starting party plans and birthday present purchases.
Halloween is immediately after that, and my FAVORITE holiday. And D's costume - SPOILER ALERT - The Flash, is on the way.
After that - my anniversary, Thanksgiving and the holiday season will be around the corner. Shopping for my family/friends presents is one of my favorite yearly activities.

So I'm bravely clicking the "Publish Post" button, and putting this post into cyberspace. Moving forward - but never forgetting.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Chummie

My grandma, Genevieve "Chum" Vivian Boian, passed away last week at the age of 93. I still don't believe it.

My grandma was like a 2nd mom to me growing up. She and my grandpa lived in the house across the street from mine - so you can imagine the amount of time we spent together. The fact that she's not going to be around anymore is almost too much to comprehend.

"Chummie", as I called her (her nickname was Chum), was maybe the best woman in the world. Together with my grandpa they were like the dynamic duo of amazing. I wrote a previous post about my grandpa Bill when my nephew Will was born (though not a full tribute, as he's been gone 8.5 years and I didn't have this blog that long ago) - and it only seems appropriate to honor Chummie in the same way.

For her funeral this weekend, my family's priest asked my sisters and I to write a few memories down of Chummie, and the way we'd like to remember her. It was too hard to think of just one - so we all wrote a few. Writing "how we will remember her" was harder, because it will be a compilation of the 31 years of memories that I have.

Chummie was a kind, gentle, beautiful soul. She'd do anything for you, and give you anything you asked for. Everyone loved her, regardless of knowing her 10 minutes or a lifetime. She was a Kindergarten teacher by trade - and implemented teaching structures for the state of Illinois. She taught hundreds and hundreds of students throughout her career and remembered every one. She had a long and amazing life as a farmer's wife, mother and teacher - but to me she must have been born to be a grandmother.

I want to remember so many things about her. I want to remember her bathroom sink and the smells of dusting powder, Eternity perfume and Listerine mixed together. I want to remember her beautiful clothes and even more beautiful jewelry. (One of the things I wrote about for her funeral was going through all her jewelry boxes and getting to hear the stories that went with every piece). I want to remember her noodles that she made in the crock pot, and her tomato soup that looked bizarre but tasted amazing (and no one can recreate). I want to remember their guest room, with the bookshelves, all the Dick & Jane reading books, red table and chairs, and antique sewing machine. I want to remember the built-in giant shelving unit that separated their living room/kitchen and how it was covered in bells (she collected them her whole life) - and the cabinets below that held board games like Hog Tied, Care Bears, Shirt Tails and Sorry that she'd play for hours. I want to remember playing cards with her and my grandpa at their little card table in the kitchen, even though there was only three of us and we could have played anywhere. I want to remember her walk-in closet and the hall cabinets full of purses. I want to remember her canning tomatoes in the kitchen with my mom, and storing everything in their crawl space basement. I want to remember the click-clack of knitting needles whenever she was sitting still for more than a minute. She may have been the fastest knitter on the planet, and had drawers and drawers full of colored yarns. I want to remember their orange chairs, green sofa and stone fireplace that was built by my grandpa. I want to remember her weekly handwritten (on beautiful stationary) letters to me at college. I want to remember her love of flowers, and the pansies that I loved so much. I want to remember her stop-and-start driving style and how she mostly had my grandpa drive - including on rides to see my aunt Patsy at her care center in Streator. I want to remember that their TV and radio/record player were wooden pieces of furniture, and that I got to pick what we watched or listened to, most of the time from the big orange pillow on the floor. I want to remember her ruby ring, and angel pin, and wedding band that was so thin from years of wear. I want to remember her singing next to me in church, her voice on the other end of the phone, or her humming in the kitchen. I want to remember her running across the street in her nightgown the night my dad had to be rushed to the hospital. I want to remember that her favorite treats were guava juice and burnt cookies. I want to remember her teaching me to read, cross-stitch and play card games. I want to remember her love for her family - her husband, her children and her grandchildren. I want to remember EVERYTHING she did and said on every occasion - that made her the best grandmother ever created.

Don't be alarmed if you check back and I've edited this blog. I have a feeling I'll never be done recording the memories. She meant the world to me. I never want to forget a moment.

(Me [pregnant with D at the time!] and Chummie at her 90th birthday party).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Walk for Hope - take 3

On October 1st - Dain, D and I will be participating, for the 3rd year, in the Walk for Hope to benefit Mutual Ground - a shelter that provides free services to victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

Both Dain's family and my family have been affected by domestic abuse. We are walking once again with "Team Andrea" a group formed in memory and honor of Dain's cousin who lost her life as a victim of domestic abuse.

Please see the site below where I'm managing my fundraising efforts (you may have to cut and paste), which also includes further information on Mutual Ground. Any donations are tax deductible and can be made on the website - or I can accept cash/check donations as well.

Please do not feel obligated to donate - I, once again, just wanted to spread the word about this great place that could possibly be a safe haven to someone you may know that may also be affected.