I think most of you know who I am, but for those who don’t I’m Lynzee and I’m Jan’s eldest grandchild. I lived with her and Grandpa so I got the privilege of spending a lot of time with Grandma. She raised me when she didn’t have to and she took me back in multiple times after I moved out when she didn’t have to. And she watched my son every single day while I went to college when she didn’t have to. I have a wonderful life now and I 100% owe that to them.
My grandma was the strongest person I’ve ever known. She suffered great loss in her life and was still just a wonderful, happy person to be around. I didn’t really understand what she had gone through until I became an adult and a parent, but now that I do it’s just amazing how gracefully she got through life. She was so passionate about and in love with her family.
She would do anything for us and one of the big things was sewing. I can’t even put a number on the Halloween costumes, recital costumes, formal dresses, and clothes she created or fixed for us over the years. At the time I didn’t know how lucky of a kid I was because I could be absolutely anything I wanted to be for Halloween because Grandma would make it. I think that really instilled in me that I can still be anything I’d like to be and there are no limits. Costumes continued for me even as an adult. I could call her up and tell her my husband and I wanted some for a movie premier and she’d do it without hesitation. Even when we would tell her only a week beforehand. It really sank in for me how much we depended on her sewing skills when my mom was shopping for a dress for me for today. My size options were either a little too small or too big and my first instinct was to tell her to go bigger because I could just have Grandma take it in…then I realized what the dress was for. So now I’m standing here being held together by a dress that’s too tight and wondering how many more little moments like that are going to stop me in my tracks.
She was so supportive of anything and everything we did. Between all of us, there were a lot of sporting events, plays, dance recitals…and she was always there. Once, Mykenzie decided to do travel volleyball and the St. Louis coach coached it. It consisted of practically the entire St. Louis team and three Alma girls, Mykenzie being one of them. Out of the 5 games they played that day the Alma girls ended up getting maybe 5 minutes of playing time. So after the last game was done Grandma decided to chew out the coach. Mykenzie ended up with her “nonrefundable” payment returned.
Now as that story suggests my grandma was also one of the sassiest people I’ve known. One of my favorite memories that pops up on Facebook is her calling Brey a shithead for not telling her what she’d like for Christmas yet. I remember once I was drinking Mike’s hard lemonade at her house and she looked at me and went “Lynzee! Is that your SECOND one?” I was like “umm…yes?” This was coming from the woman who one New Year’s Eve was sitting in the corner in her chair with her drink and after a while she got real quiet. I said “Grandma, what are you drinking?” She said “oh that stuff you guys brought me.” We had brought her jager because she loved black licorice so much and we thought she might like it. I said “What did you mix it with?” She said “oh nothing, it’s good.” So she was just chilling in the corner all night drinking an entire glass of straight jager having a great time.
Everyone here knows she was one of the kindest people. My sister told me a story about when she was in cosmetology school and could finally have clients. My grandma came in to let Brey cut her hair. Brey kept going over and over some spots and so by the end it ended up being about 2 inches too short–which is a lot when your hair is only a few inches to begin with. Grandma fluffed it with her hand when she looked in the mirror and neither of them said anything. They had to go meet our Uncle Randy afterward and when they did he mentioned she got her hair cut and she responded with “Oh yeah, I just decided to try a new look.” That’s just who she was. I’ve been blown away by the number of comments on her obituary from our friends and my mom and uncle’s friends talking about all the good times they remember at our house. She was everyone’s mom, everyone’s grandma, everyone’s friend. I hope she knows how special she was to us because I know I didn’t let her know enough and it’s killing me. I made the mistake too many people make…I thought she was invincible.
That’s the problem with loving strong people. You think they’re always going to be here. That we’ll always have more time. That they can survive any storm. So when they’re finally swept away by one so is the air in our lungs and we can’t breathe. I’ve had terrible nightmares about this moment for years, but they didn’t prepare me for the real thing. I have been completely knocked off my feet by this and don’t know how to proceed from here. My sister said “The pain I’m feeling lets me know how lucky I was to have you” and it’s so true and so bittersweet.
I will always be grateful she made it to my wedding and to Jonathon’s and that she lived long enough to meet my daughter. But I will always be ripped apart by the fact that now Luna doesn’t get to know the grandma that we all did. Grandma loved my kids so much and she fought so hard at the end to be able to go back home and see them. I thought we had a good 15 to 20 years left and I feel so robbed. I’m angry, I’m confused, I’m broken. I truly don’t know how to live in a world that she’s not a part of. She was this family’s rock and she has been the most consistent person in my life. She took care of all of us with all that she had and I don’t think three more lifetimes would even be enough to show her how grateful we all are and how much we’re going to miss her.