She left us with her legacy, and to pick up the pieces of her life. Through stories and tears and laughter, we have started weaving together the chapters of her time on this earth.
C’s Grandma Dietz passed away Monday July 9 and it was quite a shock. Seven days before, we took her out to dinner. Ten days before that, I visited her with C’s mom. Two weeks before that she read a blessing she wrote and danced the polka at our wedding in New York.
And just a few short weeks later, she left this place and all of us.
Her four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren and their spouses mourn her. Her sister, sister-in-law and many cousins and friends came together to wish her well on her next journey.
Though I only knew her two years, I found her joyful, silly and thoughtful. Her house was warm and inviting and her smile contagious. She loved with a big heart. C loved her right back. I was lucky enough to love her right back too.
When I had been dating C less than a month, he took me on a date with Grandma. That’s correct. I went on a date with C and Grandma. Every year, she met up with her family in Windsor, Colorado, for a family picnic. It takes place the first weekend in August, and it has for a long while. Grandma’s Russian-German small town farming roots brought her to the reunion every year she could.
This past winter, C and I drove Grandma home one evening after dinner and we sat with her on her sofa for a few hours and poured over the family photo albums. She smiled at the sweet kid photos of C’s mom and her brothers and I couldn’t help but get a warm feeling in my heart as Grandma talked about what a beautiful blond baby C was – and how he was so kissable. I learned about Fritz the family dog and a bit about Grandma’s life in Fort Morgan, before the farm failed and she and her husband moved their family to Denver to start a new life in the city.
This weekend, C and I will go to the Windsor family picnic without Grandma. We’ll figure out how to make her famous rival kuga from her worn recipe book and sit under the wide pale blue sky of Colorado’s eastern plains and think of her smile, her warmth and her love.