Grandma Ruth

I've been debating as to whether to write this post or not. Ultimately, as you can see, I decided to write it. You may have been wondering why my blog has been so silent lately. Well, the reason is that I've been grieving since my grandma passed away the week before last. While we knew it was bound to happen, especially since she's been slowly going down hill, it nonetheless hit me pretty hard when it really happened. 

I was really close to my grandma. She made a point of making such close relationships with all her children and grandchildren. She was the quintessential grandma - sweet, kind, loving, and had that cute grandma hair cut (you know, the one that required going to the salon about once a week). I have such fond memories of our time together over the years. She visited us often out in Encinitas and we spend many hot summer days out in Chicago. She even came out for many Christmas and Easter holidays. So she never really seemed far away.

As she was with me, she was with others - always there. And there was no doubt of the love and connections she made over her lifetime as I witnessed the hundreds that showed up to pay their respect over the course of the two days when I was in Chicago last week for the wake and funeral. I felt so honored to be her granddaughter.

I have some many good memories with my Grandma Ruth. Here's just a few...the list goes on and on. 

  • She taught me how to draw a daisy.
  • She was always joined me for frozen yogurt outings.
  • Her love for Navy Pier and Chicago was totally infectious.
  • When she visited for Easter when I was young, she would play endless rounds of egg hunts.
  • We would take long bike rides together through the park (over crunchy locust, yuck!).
  • I can't eat a Frango without thinking of her. 
  • The time at Heathrow when she insisted on us following her, only for her to turn around moments later to confess she didn't know where she was headed.
  • Driving along in the torture mobile, eh hem, I mean blue Oldsmobile.
  • Her infamous German Chocolate Cake and manicotti - a must when she visited. She always made me a cupcake without the gross coconut frosting. 
  • Celebrating St Patricks Day with brownies that had wintergreen tic-tacs on top as "green sprinkles."
  • Every bit of her was Irish even though her ancestry wasn't really Irish, but she had the last name O'Neill.
  • When she was in town, she's get bagels and cream cheese on weekend mornings and have it waiting for us for breakfast.
  • Johnny Pat, in Chicago when it rains and you have the wind shield wipers on you need to put your lights on as well. Dad turns off the wind shield wipers.
  • On our Hawaii trip, I looked at Grandma and asking why she's wearing the same clothes as yesterday. She gently reminded me that her luggage had be lost. Oh vey!
  • The tiger blankets she had at the Frontage Road home.
  • Grandma told me once that a young man raised his middle finger at her, and then proceed to ask me once if there was road rage in California. I said of course not.
  • While on our Colorado trip as a child, I asked about thunder. Grandma explained it was the angel's bowling.
  • She had no fear of garlic, she would just lather it on at Little Joe's in San Francisco. 
  • During college, she would send cookie packages (with a slice of bread to keep them fresh!).
  • Hooters. We should go there sometime. 

If you knew Grandma Ruth, I'd love to hear your memories in the comments! 

Also, I created a video full of photos of Grandma. As a longer term project (I had to put this together pretty fast), I hope to make a book full of photos of her. If you have any, please send them my way.  

If you'd like to download this video, go to the video on Vimeo. There should be a button to download underneath the video. If you have any troubles, please let me know.

You are not forgotten, loved one
Nor will you ever be,
As long as life and memory last
We will remember thee.
We miss you now, our hearts are sore.
As time goes by we’ll miss you more.
Your loving smile, your gentle fact,
No one can fill your vacant place.

Lastly, here is her Obituary.