Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ode to a Grandma: Millie Walquist, 1914-2012

I haven't had a grandma for quite a while. My grandma on my dad's side died when I was young, either 5 or 6, I'm not exactly sure. Unfortunately, I don't have very many memories of her. My grandma on my mom's side died in 1997, which sometimes seems like yesterday, but when I actually sit down with my calculator, I realize that it's already been 15 years now.

Almost 8 years ago I was fortunate to get a third chance at having a grandma. That was when I married my wonderful wife, who just happened to come with a grandma of her own, Grandma Millie. At the time, Grandma Millie was a spry 91-year-old who was active in every facet of life, even to the point of picking up her younger friends from church to drive them to and from whatever appointments they might have had.

That wasn't the only amazing thing about Grandma Millie, but it was one of the first amazing things I learned about her. Over the years I would learn so much more, from how she had shoveled her own 100-foot-long driveway by herself until she was almost 80, to how she had also taken care of all four of my sister-in-law's kids every day, when they were all under the age of 10! That, too, occurred when Grandma Millie was well past the age of retirement.
Grandma Millie, in March, holding the Baby shortly after she was born.

Throughout the past 8 years, I got to know Grandma Millie better and better, and quickly started to think of her as my own grandmother. She was an amazingly generous and loving woman, and I am proud to say she was my Grandma. We lost Grandma Millie this morning, just a few short months from her 99th birthday. It's been a terribly sad day for everyone in the family, but we all know that she is now celebrating in heaven with Jesus and her beloved husband, George.

I love you, Grandma Millie! Thanks for everything!

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