These are my maternal grandparents. We went to visit them yesterday. While the men (Spencer, Brant, Brennan) were helping Grandpa try to figure out an electrical problem, the women (Grandma, Aunt Pat, Laurie, Ashtyn, Kelly, me) visited like crazy and did lots of laughing.
Grandma (age 84, I think) is in pretty good health. Grandpa (age 87) has neuropathy in his legs, he is quite forgetful, and he gets incredibly frustrated by age.
My grandparents have always been a huge part of my life. One of my earliest memories is riding on an airplane from North Dakota to Utah with Grandma. Brant and I stayed there until my dad's discharge from the Air Force. One morning Grandma and Grandpa said that we were going to go to the airport to look at the planes. As we stood at one of the windows, Brant started jumping up and down, yelling, "Mama! Mama! Mama!" Our grandparents had not wanted to say that we were going to go get Mom, in case she hadn't gotten on the flight or the flight got delayed. But there she came, down the stairs with our new baby brother, Derek, in the infant seat in her arms. Brant could see her, but I couldn't see her till she was right next to me.
We also lived with my grandparents a couple of different times in my childhood. When we moved to California, they bought a small trailer that simply stayed in my parents' driveway for years--it was their home with us! They would come for weeks at a time, and we loved it.
My grandma was fearless, and it was a KICK to go to Disneyland, Lagoon, and Knott's Berry Farm with her. There was NOTHING she wouldn't ride. My high school friends loved to laugh with her and tease her. She was a talented singer; she is completely devoted to all of her 4 sisters; she was a marvelous crafter. In fact, I've still never seen anyone who could tie a bow like my grandma. She did all of my flowers for our wedding, and I LOVED them.
Grandpa was/is incredibly generous. He is a hard worker. He was a MASTER at car restoration. He could often be found in "The Pit" (which was a necessity in his garages) or with the welder going. We weren't allowed to go out there, and we weren't allowed to look at the welding arc, so he was a little bit scary to me when I was a child. But I learned he was a marshmallow. When my daddy was living in California, Grandpa took my out to practice driving. When I graduated from high school he gave my family a car so that I would have one to use for college.
It is a tremendous blessing that my grandparents have been my good friends throughout my life, and I will thank heaven for that blessing eternally. Additionally, our children also know and love them, which is wonderful. I know that mortality is going to catch up with my grandparents in the not-too-distant future, and the thought nearly breaks my heart. For now, I cherish each of our visits!