Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Tuesday, April 22

Stronger than a rock

In Loving Memory
Della Marie Knippen
October 11, 1908 - April 14, 2014

Written with love by James Thomas:

Granny was stronger than a rock…

Heaven is a beautiful place. Everyone’s clothes are glowing white with gold trim and everyone is happy. This is how Granny described heaven to me about 20 years ago. She talked of seeing angels and how beautiful they were. She had seen it all and spoke with such realism and authority that one could not doubt the truth of what she saw. She spoke in terms that made it unquestionable that this is exactly how it is.

When we moved across town in 1989, one of the things we were happiest about is how close we’d be to Granny. We would walk there, ride our bikes there and later drive our cars there. After I got my driver’s license, I had to be very careful driving over and where I parked as she did live next to a cop after all. Additionally I always minded my Ps and Qs because she also live next to my 1st grade teacher! In hindsight, if I had asked her opinion about where to park she probably would have said that walking isn't crowded.

We would go visit Granny and she always made us feel important. She loved watching her soap operas but when John and and I went to visit she would turn them off and pay attention to US. I remember during one period of time we thought she was forgetting things (perhaps a mid life crisis at 80) so we figured we could get two visits for the price of one. When we’d visit, Granny always gave us snacks and attention - so we’d visit once and get our snacks and then visit again later that day because she forgot; well she didn't forget she just cared that much and we got more snacks and attention.

Granny always had hidden behind her chair in the living room games that we could play - one was like a wooden pin-ball game; I loved that game. We’d take it out and play it nearly every time we visited - she was always curious as to how well we did. I dream about Granny’s house all the time. Sometimes in my dreams her basement is a haunted house; sometimes I don’t know what’s in the freezer or other times it is always spring and she’s sitting on the back steps watching the garden and yard that she’s tended too.

When John and I would visit during the spring and summer, we would pick flowers for Granny. Tulips, lilacs, whatever was around. She always appreciated it so much and they’d go right into a vase with water. Even if they weren't very pretty.

Granny loved my wife. Gram loved my wife and would have been very happy that I married her. Granny always remembered Stacy and would light up when she knew Stacy was there.

I always wanted Granny’s green car. It was old and cool and I didn't know how it fit into the garage. I still don’t think a car can fit in that garage. Sometimes people would think that the car was driving itself as she guided it down the street while watching the road between the steering wheel and the top of the dash.

Granny wasn't perfect - she cheated at cards. I have to say that I don’t remember any specific cases when I caught her cheating so at least she must have been good at it. Or maybe she was so good at cards that people said she was cheating because they couldn't beat her and she wasn't cheating. Some of my happiest memories were playing royal rummy; we played at Gram’s house which is what I remember most but sometimes at Granny’s too. We’d also play Trivial Pursuit which she didn't like. I know we’d always try to get her to play and she didn't want to but sometimes her answers were funny and sometimes I’d wonder how she knew something that she got right.

Granny always had these toast like crackers that she spread with butter. I dream about those things. To this day I don’t know what they are. They might have just been normal crackers but I always thought they were special and wish I could remember what they were. Granny loved green onions. I don’t know why that’s important but maybe it’s just important because I remember it. Some people say that things are as ridiculous as government cheese; well Granny got some of that cheese and I always enjoyed having it. I think in retrospect that is more of a commentary on the quality of the time spent with her than the quality of the cheese.

When we would go visit Granny at her house, it was usually locked if she wasn't sitting in her porch. But of course the key was simply hidden right by the door and we knew where it was and would let ourselves in. If she wasn't right there we’d eat as much candy as was in her candy dish until she realized she had company.

Her bathroom had a particular and peculiar smell. I think it was probably decorative soap. I think it was probably a horrible smell but to this day I miss that smell because of the memories I associate with it. I don’t know what was always in Granny’s spare bedroom but I know there wasn't room to sleep and it was full. I think it was coupons.

One summer day around the 4th of July Granny was sitting in one of those old rickety lawn chairs on the dock at my parents cabin. She fell off the dock and hit her head on the big rock leaving a small rock size welt on the side of her forehead. Of course she was fine and didn't want anyone to fuss over her - not even DeAnn who indeed did try to fuss over her.

Like the way that she lived her life and loved her family Granny was then and always has been stronger than a rock.

No comments: