It was 6 weeks until her 98th birthday, but Grandma was tired. She missed her husband; it’d been almost 55 years since he passed away and left her with 3 children.

Grandpa Don met the first granddaughter, but he missed the next 9. He missed the 21 great-grandchildren you were blessed with, and the new name of Nana. He also missed 30 great-great-grandchildren.

But you didn’t miss them. You knew them all; from visits, phone calls and pictures. And we each knew you and how much you loved us.

Grandma, you were amazing. Left a widow with 3 children, you baked cookies and cakes to pay the bills. When your youngest was in high-school, you went to work in a dress shop. You spent the next 35 years working full-time, with only 3 weeks of vacation (one for each child) to see your family each year. Luckily, when you retired at 79 ½, your finally had the time for extended visits.

You lived alone, independent, until just before your 97th birthday. That final year you finally consented to move to Minnesota and into an assisted living apartment. Even then, you fretted about your inability to bake cookies, to wash the floors and that you couldn’t iron clothes the way you used to.

Even as your body wore out and shut down, you stayed in touch with your family. The final two days in hospice, you requested time with each visitor and made over 20 calls to tell the person how much you would miss them and how blessed she was to have you in her life.

But she had it wrong.

Whether she was known as a daughter, sister, Mother, Aunt, friend, Grandma or Nana---we were the ones that were blessed to know her.

Love you, Grandma. Always.