My grandmother’s acute mind, clever wit, humility and selflessness are aspects of her being that I hope to embody in my own life. She was dedicated to serving others, with love, in her speech, thoughts and actions.
Between us, conversation was always honest and never forced. There was a tranquil, natural quality about the way time passed when we were together. Her presence grounded me, in a manner that only one with many years of experience and wisdom can. We would listen to old-time music on her porch and sip wine in the afternoon sun. In the evenings, we watched Wheel of Fortune or the Twins play baseball on television. We always played cards or scrabble…and she typically won. We dined around town, hoping to taste something new. With age, rather than closing down and becoming more rigid, she grew ever more open to life.
She frequently talked about her years as a young woman, of life out on her own for the first time. She told the story of meeting my grandfather at work by offering to share her Popsicle with him. She spoke of the war and separation. And, about the move to St. Paul to begin a family and new life in Minnesota. It was as if these moments happened yesterday, they were crystal clear in her mind.
I would tell her my latest story ideas and share pictures of the world with her. She told me about her recent bridge game with the ladies. I massaged her stiff, tired feet by the fireside. She always drove and made sure I got to the airplane on time. Oftentimes, we simply sat there…in silence, present, together.
Louise moved on recently, as autumn turned to winter…she was in her own home, surrounded by her family and much love. A 93-year life of integrity, independence and vitality…released.
These photographs are my memory, the story of our walk together.