Grandma Rachel

 Ryan's grandma passed away a couple days ago. I keep thinking about her as "Ryan's grandma" but I guess after almost 13 years, she was my grandma too. And man, she was a good one.

Grandma Rachel and Duke

One of my favorite memories with grandma was damn near a tragedy. Our power went out for a few days before Christmas, so Grandma invited us to stay with her. It was nice -- lots of people packed into her tiny house, just in time for the holiday. It was downright cozy. And also a little crowded, so our dogs stayed at our house a few miles away. This is during Jack's "take any opportunity to run away" phase. He took off on Christmas Eve and I swear, we drove around the neighborhood for hours looking for him, anxiously yelling "JACK JACK SNACK ATTACK." I finally gave up and went back to Grandma's. Like some kind of Christmas miracle, Grandma was clicking on the 5 o'clock news just as I was walking in the door, and wouldn't you know it, Jack's face was right there on the TV. A story was running about the animal shelter and I guess someone had found Jack before I did and brought him there. I called to claim him immediately and I think we have laughed about that weird coincidence ever since. 

A few years later, I was a million months pregnant with Duke and I will never forget, at my baby shower, how happy and excited she was to give him this classically shiny, red, totally beautiful Radio Flyer. He tools around my yard with that thing to this day, regularly tossing Jack, or a bike in it and hitching it up to his John Deere like a trailer. 

Grandma was always cheerful. Always just happy to be here. And always the chattiest cathy you ever met. I think she was determined to make everyone her friend. 

Without Grandma, I wouldn't have any of the people that mean so much to me. My husband, our baby, Ryan's mom. My family wouldn't exist without her and I am forever grateful for Grandma Rachel. 

Ryan and I will count the Betsie River crossings and think of her every single time. I'll also laugh every single time I see this picture. 

Grandma Rachel and Ryan Ride a Motorcycle

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