For year's my Grandma McNeally was fighting breast cancer, and ever since her diagnosis, her health just kept deteriorating. Grandma and Grandpa moved down to the cities from Hoveland in 2011 to be closer to medical care and family. Every couple of months we get that call saying this could be the end, and we'll go visit her and she starts to do better. Unfortunately this time could really be the end. A Priest came in last night and read her her last rights and gave her communion. The hospital dropped off a bed and she has been on morphine since Monday to keep her comfortable. Kari, mom and I are going to hopefully be able to visit her tonight. But instead of thinking about what is to come, I want to look back at all the great memories we had with Grandma.
Growing up, we didn't take many vacations and with a dad that traveled a lot, my mom would pack up her three little girls and we would make the 6 hour trip from LaCrescent, MN up to Hoveland, MN near the Canadian border. They had a home/cabin across the highway from Lake Superior that my Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunts and Uncles built. There was a large drainage tunnel that went under the highway and that was our secret way to get to Lake Superior. The beach up there isn't sand, it's all rocks. We would scour the beach looking for feathers and the perfect twigs to make dream catchers. I have no clue how to make one now, but Grandma always helped us collect the material and assemble our dream catchers. I can't tell you how many I made.
If you ever wanted to play a card game or learn a new kind of solitaire, Grandma was your woman. They didn't have a TV to entertain us, so we sat around and played card game after card game. I never knew there were so many different ways to play solitaire. Oh, and if you were caught cheating, like playing one card instead of 3, or shuffling your pile, she certainly wouldn't count that as a win.
I remember helping her cook when we would visit, or when they would come visit us. As a kid, I loved my tuna fish sandwiches, so Grandma and I got our ingredients and starting mixing. Then she started adding things like, celery, onions and pickles! I'm pretty sure I threw a tantrum.
Canada really isn't much different than Northern Minnesota, but Grandma always brought us up so we could cross the border, just to say we went to Canada over the weekend.
We would take drives to find animals. We would usually see bear or moose. That was always exciting. On these drives, we would get out and search for berries. Grandma always knew what berries were good and which ones could poison you.
One of the stories we all laugh at the most is dressing up in Grandma's lingerie! She always had a drawer full of lacy, silky little numbers and we just got such a kick out of dressing up and putting on shows. We were all under the age of ten when we did this, and we thought they were such fun dress-up clothes. Hmm, I wonder if she still has that drawer of lingerie?
Here's to looking at the good times we shared together and the things we learned.
Love you Grandma