Grandma Bobbie’s influence on our lives

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My Grandma Bobbie Squires would have been 90 years old yesterday.  And as I think about her (thanks to the reminder from my dad) I felt like it was worth posting about the things she taught me and how much she blessed all of our lives. And how she influenced our first dance at our wedding.

last visit     Grandma Bobbie was a special person in so many people’s lives.  I first have to thank her for raising my father.  Who has so much integrity, love and commitment in his life.  He has taught me a lot about how to live life and I know he learned a lot of it from his parents.

Grandma Bobbie lived in Glidden, Iowa for most of her life.  She and her husband (Grandpa Max who passes away when I was 8 or 9) ran a funeral home.  YES!  When we went to visit them, we would sleep in the upper level of the home, often times running as fast as we could from the door to the steps, because our older cousins told us it was haunted, or that the body (in place for a wake) would jump out at us if we stayed down there.  haha I am not making this up.

Such fun memories at that home though.  Her and grandpa Max would play baseball with us in their backyard.  They’d take us to the Dairy Mart, which I’m still convinced has the best ice cream and cheese balls in the world.

We loved visiting them in Glidden and we loved sharing memories with them.

Another thing Grandma Bobbie loved: the Iowa Hawkeyes.  To this day, I’m such a big fan because of her and grandpa’s influence.  She had plenty of opinions and commentary about their football program and their basketball recruiting.  But she always supported her Hawkeyes.  Through wins and losses.  So do I. 🙂

When I was in high school, we moved Grandma Bobbie to an assisted living facility near Omaha, NE.  It was really the best thing for her to be close to the most family.  For me, it made visits to Omaha all that much more important.  My parents moved to Memphis shortly after that and I stayed in Dubuque for college.  I made an effort to visit her every 6 months or so.  Which was a great chance to catch up, make memories and enjoy each other.

She was blessed to be surrounded by a lot of love and weekly visits from the Omaha crews.  My cousin Liz would stop by and do her hair once a week.  Who knows what crazy antics happened then. But I would often get text messages and photos of their adventures. I know that time was cherished.

But my biggest and most vivid memory of her happened to be when I brought Scott to Omaha for the first time.  It was a big deal. I wanted him to meet her and I wanted her to like him.  I was worried, for one, that she wouldn’t like that he was a Cyclone fan.  Even more worried that she might be confused because Scott is what they called my dad growing up.

She LOVED Scott though.  Like absolutely LOVED him.  She got passed his pour choice in fan choice (Iowa State) and loved that he worked for John Deere.  I still think to this day she thinks he built tractors.  I loved watching them interact.  I loved seeing how attentive and loving he was to her and vice versa.  They had this bond that I can’t really explain, except that I knew she like him.

Our last visit with Grandma was in the spring.  We didn’t know it would be our last visit.  But we always treated them with care because we never really knew.

Grandma had a bad week leading up to our visit.  She fell and hurt her hip and we weren’t sure how her memory would be.  We knocked on the door, came inside and were greeted with hugs and love.  She was sharp as a can be that day.

One thing I always did with Grandma Bobbie was put on music.  She loved Michael Buble, dearly.  And I always knew that if I put that on it would provide a flow of memories, singing and sometimes dancing.

On this day we were sitting with her and singing along when “For Once In My Life”
came on.  She shot up from her green couch and grabbed Scott.  She started dancing with him and I singing the lyrics “For once in my life I’ve got someone who needs me.” She pointed at Scott and gave me the thumbs up.  She liked him. It was almost like we got Grandma’s stamp of approval that day.

I get tears in my eyes thinking about it. That visit was so joyous.  And that memory is so vivid.  Of course, Scott has some of it on video because he grabbed the FlipCam and started capturing it.  We left Omaha that weekend feeling so happy to have shared those memories, not knowing when or if we’d see Grandma again.

A month later she passed away.  We were all at her funeral.  The whole family.  A huge reunion to celebrate her life and the people she brought us.

Two years and one day later – Scott and I got married.  548384_601627497171_66000139_31924289_1064725549_nOur first dance was, you guessed it, “For Once In My Life” by Michael Buble.  We chose that song based on our last visit with her.  The memories it brought and what it really meant.  That moment for Scott and I was powerful and memorable.  It was a one of the many moments that made me realize he was the man for me.  His love, care and attention for her was unbelievable.  And our faith kept that bond going.

Sunday, March 9th would have been her 90th birthday.  We celebrated it by going to church with my parents.  Grandma was always passionate about her faith.  Even in her last years someone brought her communion from the church nearby.  I find comfort in that, knowing each time I recieve the Eucharist, she’s with me.  We see her and grandpa every time there is a full moon, we know the two are dancing together under the moonlight.

Truth is, even though she’s gone, she’s here now more than every.  And I know everyone in our family is making her proud.

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