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by Dawn Stuempfle.........................................

It has been approx. 11 years since my grandmother passed away. I don't think there's been a day she hasn't come into my thoughts. During the holidays, I always reflect on the family dinners we had at her house. The escarole or tortellini soup, the antipasto, her gravy, meatballs, yellow cake with chocolate icing. All of those things were hers and hers alone. The only person who can come close to grandmom's cooking is Mom. Grandmom always had her shopping done months in advance. The year she passed, while cleaning the house, we found Christmas presents she had already bought and wrapped for us. She always thought of others before herself and worried to a fault. She was the kind of grandmother you just wanted to sit and talk to forever. I wish she had lived to see my nephew, she would've loved him.

Every year when I decorate for Christmas, I always debate about putting a tree up. I always spend the holidays away, so it seems like so much work to not be here to enjoy. Yet, every year, I end up putting it up and decorating it. See, this tree used to my grandmother's and even though I know she is looking down on us from above, having that tree up brings her a little closer during the holidays.

to Grandmom: We all miss you every day and loved you very much. You will always be in our hearts. Each time a story is told or a meal that you used to make is had, your love warms our hearts once more.

Comments would be appreciated by the author, Dawn Stuempfle

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