My Grandma Bunny was my last living grandparent and the one that I had the closest relationship with too. So, when my grandmother was diagnosed with brain cancer, it was very hard for me to process that her body was failing her.
I had watched my grandma deal with multiple sclerosis for nearly my entire life. (Her brain neurons didn’t always tell her body how to correctly respond.) She had many things in her life that she persisted through that made me view her as a strong woman.
Seeing her deal with that all my life and then hearing that she was diagnosed with a deadly disease, my natural reaction was to think that she would be alright. Not necessarily that she would beat the cancer, but that she would live a vivacious last few years with joy and her heart and a smile on her face.
After visiting with her in Michigan just a few months after her diagnosis, and one month before her passing, I realize that her last few years would be only months or weeks and would not be driven by a wildly vivacious attitude. Her body just couldn’t handle it, and was deteriorating quickly.
It broke my heart to see her like that.
Even with that said, she did go out with joy in her heart and a smile on her face because she knew that she belongs to God and that she had nothing to worry about and that we all new how much she loved us.
Writing this blog post is not about me wallowing in my sadness. Instead, this is a memorial blog post to highlights the beautiful moments that I had with my Grandma Bunny and that I will always have to cherish. She may be gone but she has left me with memories that will always make me smile.
We used to go out on the pond in the rowboat or canoe!
When I was about eight years old, I remember my grandma and I would go spends time near by the big pond. It was on her property, just a short walk down the hill from her house and she used to have a couple boats near by, a canoe and a rowboat.
She taught me how to paddle out together in the canoe and the rowboat, then how to paddle and row them on my own too. (For going out on my own or for when she couldn’t row anymore from being tired).
We would sit in the boats and watch the fish go by under us, and sometimes feed them bread to watch the little fishy ripples pop up in the water.
It was a calm, sweet memory intertwined with giggles and some boat wobbles.
Some days her multiple sclerosis would flair up and she wouldn’t be able to go out on the pond with me, but because she taught me how, I could go out in the rowboat by myself so she could rest.
I appreciate her even in those moments because she helped me learn to do things on my own too.
We’d go fishing!
I remember fishing with Grandma Bunny on the deeper side of her pond, then finding a turtle buried in the side of the hill where we were standing! For some reason, I keep thinking it was a snapping turtle, but that just can’t be right. I think Grandma dug him out and let him go! She always was such and animal lover.
We had a great time anyhow, even though I’m sure I didn’t catch any fish!
She taught me how to sew and knit!
My grandma was always interested in sewing. She started sewing when she was just a kid! I have a story written down from her, in a journal she gave me, talking about how she made a beautiful skirt in Jr. High.
A log from my Grandma Bunny’s Journal:
We (our family) never got any “spending money”, I remember needing material, thread & a pattern, for “home economics” class and we had no money for that. So my teacher had me come over to her house & strip the old wax off the floor and clean them good: then put another coat of wax on the floor. That’s how I got enough money for my school project, which was sewing a skirt & it was beautiful – got an “A”.
She had made me all kinds of dresses when I was growing up! She made me a princess dress for Halloween, and a dress for my ninth birthday. The birthday dress had a matching mini-dress for my American girl doll that she bought me. She even made my doll and I matching winter ponchos!
Once I was old enough, her and my mom taught me how to sew my first shirt. Then she even taught me how to knit a scarf! I’ve loved knitting ever since, even though I’m still learning and don’t do it too often.
She taught me how to be a lady during tea time!
She taught me how to be a lady at a tea party too! She would get out all of her fancy clothes, have us grandkids get all dress up and get out her proper China tea set. Then she taught me and my cousins our tableside tea manners! She taught us how to hold our pinky out and politely refuse an additional cup of tea.
Once empty – You turn your cup over and place your sugar spoon on top. (In case you were wondering.)
She taught me how to play jacks!
By far one of my favorite memories with her is learning how to play jacks! I don’t even think anybody ever actually won the whole game. We’d be giggling too hard to continue playing after the fifth round and usually couldn’t get past the the “pigs over the fence” level.
We would play every time we got together and she even taught my husbands how to play jacks! It was the first time she came down to Texas and met him. It was before we got married, when we were just dating. That’s so wonderful that Eddie can have that memory of her too.
Grandma Bunny also used to play with her family as a little girl!
A log from my Grandma Bunny’s Journal:
When I was a kid, the most popular games were: Hide & seek, Chinese checkers, jacks. We’d all get around the dining room table, Mom, Dad, Carol, Gene & I and my dad was really good at Jacks. We’d play a lot of card games too.
Her favorite things and odd phrases.
Grandma Bunny’s favorite color was yellow, she enjoyed collecting baby dolls and porcelin dolls. She loved butterflies, cardinals, and has swooned over Elvis Presley since his glory days.
She would call us grandkids, or something pretty “Be-You-Tea-Ful” instead of beautiful, and when she was upset she would say “Awe, shit the bed!” or “Hells Bells!” – I still don’t know why she used those phases, but I can only hear it in her voice when I think it myself.
Grandma Bunny called me “Lacer” my whole life, and I still get giddy when I think of her calling me that. It was always how she greeted me at the beginning of her visits. I can hear her now: “HI-ya Lacer!”
I gave her a nickname too! I began calling her “GG” in 2011. I pulled “GG” from Great-Grandmother. I started calling her that in celebration that she had become a Great-Grandmother. My sister had just had her first child, who was also my Grandma Bunny’s first great grand-baby.
Although my kids aren’t born yet and will never meet my Grandma Bunny in this life, I’m so glad that she was able to enjoy the four grandkids that my sister and cousin gave her.
In loving memory…
I have learned so much from her and took her example seriously that you are allowed to be a kid at heart no matter what age. She will live on in my memories and I am blessed to have had her in my life!