To Gigi, With Love

***Edited version of March Hen of the Month Post from The Clucking Housewives***

Grandma Peggy (Addie's Great Grandma, Gigi) was an incredibly kind woman with just the right amount of bite.  She was a mom, a grandma, a sister, an aunt; she was family, tradition, and to me, she was Christmas.  She instilled a love of family in everyone she touched; possessed a desire to include them all in important moments, no matter how many people who would be invited or how small the house really was.  When I was younger, she had a way of always having her house decorated for every holiday, no matter how small, and I can’t remember a get together where there weren't people squished together around every table in the house. Christmas was where she shined.  Her gorgeous tree, her Christmas village that I helped set up, and every napkin, plate, even the soap dispenser in the bathroom was Christmas.

She was 86 when she passed on Thursday afternoon (July 3rd, 2014), and had moved several times since the home I remember her in when I was a child.  With age, her health prevented her from decorating like she did, but she still changed the clothes on her goose statue at the front door.  A wreath always coordinated with the holiday, and often she had a candy dish filled with holiday specific candies.  

Age, nor health issues, stopped her from being Grandma Peggy.  With help from family, cards were always sent out to every family member, for every holiday no matter how small.  Phone calls were made routinely, checking in on all of her loved ones, and most of her days were spent being lost in a book, well, several books. Although over the last nine months she took a quick decline, she still found a way to make a lasting, loving impact on my daughter every time we visited.

I still find myself thinking of Grandma Peggy, wishing I could go back to when I was a child.  Talk with her all day, play cards, bake cookies, and when the day was done, crawl into bed next to her and fall asleep.  I miss those times, right now more than ever, but now I have adult memories that I will cherish; watching her hold my daughter for the first time, squeezing my hand when she was in the hospital and I was so terrified I was going to lose her, and watching her light up when we talked about the family and its history.  

I realize I am a lot like my grandma. I cry at the drop of a hat; happy, sad, mad, I cry.  (Yes, I am even crying now while I write this.)  Holiday decorations bring me joy, no matter how small or cheesy.  Family is important to me, incredibly important, and that is why I find so much joy in genealogy.

My grandma endured a lot, raised 4 incredibly smart, passionate, loving children, and helped raise 8 grandchildren, and welcomed 9 great-grandchildren.  She entertained with a smile, although you'll have a hard time finding a photo with one; truly listened, if you talked loud enough; and loved with all of her heart.  She was loved by many and will forever stay in our hearts.