Thanks for the Memories

Dear Grandma Kennedy, I miss you. I think about you all the time, but especially around Memorial Day and all other holidays. It is still strange not being able to visit your house every holiday, knowing that you are cooking amazing food for everyone and not eating any of it yourself. That was your nature: always serving others before yourself. I miss just stopping by to visit and you demanding that I eat something, no matter the time of day. Your cupboards always seemed to be full of the right thing at the right time. Oh, the memories.

I remember feeling so loved in your presence. You had such a way of comforting me. Thanks for coming to my sporting events growing up. I was looking at all of the hundreds of pictures that you took of me growing up and playing sports. You loved taking pictures of everyone and making photo collages. I still have my collage that you made me for graduation. I am pretty sure you took a picture of me every time you saw me.

I remember all the times the cousins would sleep over at your house. You would make up little games for us to play: tossing pennies into a bowl of water, then you would splash us. I think we helped keep you young. We must have frosted thousands of sugar cookies over the years listening to

Christmas music in your kitchen. You used to make homemade play dough. That was so old school! You were so awesome!

A lot of my memories revolve around food as you were such a great cook. You knew that I loved your chocolate chip cookies and it never failed that you baked me a whole batch for my birthday every year. Do you remember when you baked me a chocolate cake for my birthday and my dad was complaining that you didn't make any white cake? You told him to shut up because it was my birthday and chocolate cake is what I wanted. I think that was the first time I remember thinking, "Take that, Dad!" All in fun, of course--we are just talking about a cake.

It is so unfortunate that you passed away at such a young age. I was so shocked as it

happened so quickly. I was 19 and home from NIACC for the summer working construction with Uncle Jack. At that age I thought I was invincible. Nothing would happen to me or those around me that I loved. I knew you had been in the hospital in Mason City for a week or so, but I thought you would recover fully for sure. You were grandma, you could do anything. We were actually working on roofing your house at that time. Ironic.

I remember it was a hot summer day and we had just gotten back from lunch. I was unloading some tools from the truck and my dad pulled up in front of your heart sank. There was no explanation for why he would drive 45 minutes from Mason City to Belmond during the middle of the week. "What are you doing here, Dad?" I asked with a puzzled look on my face.

"Grandma has been transported to the Belmond Hospital and she only has about a

week to live," he said. We hugged and cried for a long time. We then drove back to Mason City to tell my sister.

The next few days were kind of blur. A lot of visits to the hospital. Kelsey and I had just started dating a month or so before this all took place. I am so glad that she was able to meet you before you slipped off to heaven. You were so distraught that your hair wasn't done when I introduced you to Kelsey. I still laugh about that today. You were so funny.

I wish we all could have had more time together. You no doubt would have loved getting to know Kelsey.

I know there are a lot of random thoughts in this letter, but they are all great memories that I have of you. They playback like movies in my head. My comfort comes in the fact that I know you are in heaven watching over our family everyday. We all miss you so much. You were such a light in this world. I miss you. I love you.