My Sweet Grandparents! They lived their lives helping others and loving each other, and died just over two weeks apart. I have many great memories of my grandparents through the years. I loved my Granddad's home in Walnut Creek, CA, and loved going there to visit! The house always smelled really good, and the back yard was like a fairy land. One year we went to visit for Christmas, and we went to the park and played basketball in short sleeved shirts! Amazing for December!! We went to see ET right when it came out, and my Grandmother gave us each some Reese's pieces in a baggy so we would have appropriate treats while watching. After they moved to Provo, we would go over and play. There was (and still is) a wonderful cupboard full of toys and games for the kids. My favorite was the tangrams - cards with patterns on them, and plastic shapes that were fit together like a puzzle within the pattern. Grandmother had cards for each of us with the pattern numbers listed, and we could keep track of which ones we had completed. My Grandfather put together puzzles - BIG puzzles - that he framed and hung all over the house. Right inside the front door hangs a working puzzle clock. Mesmerizing! I loved to swing in the back yard, looking up into the trees. We played tetherball for hours - then we picked raspberries, strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, or whatever was growing at the time. The garden always had something to offer. My Grandmother would call neighbors that had children close to our age so we could play. The next door neighbor had a pool, and my grandparents would arrange times that we could go swim.
When I began dating, taking dates to my grandparents house was a favorite outing! I brought groups, friends, and fellows I liked. My grandparents always welcomed my plans, and offered to help in every way possible. We often parked at their home when going to BYU football or basketball games, sometimes eating dinner before or after the games.
When I had children, their home was the favorite place to visit. My sons remember riding scooters in the front. Once, my son fell and skinned his knee. Grandmother took that scooter and put it in time out as punishment for hurting my little Camer. We would all walk over to the BYU Creamery and get an ice cream cone.
My grandparents came to every event that I performed in or participated in. Even last year, they came to watch my girls dance on the DeJong Concert Hall stage at BYU. They always loved and supported each member of the family, were great examples of being kind to every one they met, and worked hard 'til the end.
My grandmother began to lose her memory in the later years. My grandfather became her memory. He encouraged her to do a crossword puzzle every day. He took her on outings regularly. He was patient and loving. My grandmother continued to do what was natural for her - she made sure things were put where they belonged. She wrote everything down so she could remember who she was talking to, and who belong to whom. She looked after others even in the end, making sure we all had food, places to sleep and bedding when we were there to help during the day and night.
My Grandfather died of cancer two months after his diagnosis. My Grandmother died of kidney failure two weeks later, one week after we found out that she was sick. They both lived long and happy lives. They were both very healthy and active for most of their lives. They both taught me so much, and I will always love them and be grateful for them!!