Hummels
Mar 2017
20

Hummel Nights

I picked up my habit of collecting Hummels from my German family and my mom in particular. I was able to take a few of hers home with me after she passed last month and my favorite is on the mantel.

I have been doing fairly well with her loss, but as everyone knows, the pain comes and goes.

I have taken to going out and saying goodnight to the Hummel at the mantel, something Bryan didn’t know till last night.

He has been super supportive through all this, so he went out with me.

We’re standing there in the dim light, very quiet and peaceful… and he says, “Just be sure to tell me if it ever says goodnight back.”

Mar 2017
15

Under The Bus

If you know my husband Bryan, he had crazy hair throughout his teen years. He got grief about it and swore he would let our kid do what he wanted.

So, Dex had his hair longer for a while. Every single time I talked to mom, she said he needed a haircut.

Then when Dex wanted to color his hair bright blue and purple, I knew mom would be, um, less than thrilled. I prepped her for it slowly and also warned Dex that his Oma would never like it.

Yeah, she didn’t. 😬

On the night mom passed away, Bryan and Dex made it just in time. We had about a half hour of real lucid time together. Her eyes got huge when she saw Dex, she lifted her hand to his face as he leaned over her, and she said, “You’re so big!”

We then had Dex come stand next to me so she could really see how much he had grown – slightly taller than me now at 5’10”. She just kept shaking her head. “So big.”

We sat down with her and chatted for a bit and I said, “So, mom, what do you think of Dex’s crazy hair?” It’s quite faded right now, but still blue on the ends.

She smiled and said, “Good.”

I said, “Oh yeah? Well, he wants to color it bright red next. I am against it. I don’t think it will suit his face.”

She smiled and nodded. “No. That will be fun.”

We all burst out laughing as I said, “MOM! THANKS FOR THROWING ME UNDER THE BUS!”

And you KNOW that Dex has brought it up more than once since… that *HIS OMA* said he could get hair done red.

Seriously.

THANKS, MOM.  ❤️

Feb 2017
24

For Mom

My mother passed away this week after her third battle with cancer. This is what I said at her memorial service.

My name is Aimee and I am Greta’s eldest daughter. My sister Karrie, my aunt Heidi and I thank you for joining us today.

My grandparents emigrated from Germany in 1951 when Greta was just 11, and Heidi 5. They arrived at Christmas and met people from Zion Church, including Albert, that very night.

My grandparents worked in factories and my mom went to high school at Patterson Park, making friends that would last a lifetime.

Even though she dreamed of being a flight attendant, she buckled down to work as a secretary, got married and had me and my sister.

After my father’s early death, she returned to work first at the high school library, then at what eventually became Euler ACI. She worked there until her retirement and again made many friends who she stayed close with for the rest of her life.

During my childhood, we attended church here at Zion and I know this community has always been a safe haven for her.

I love that my mom had friends from all aspects of her life. Thank you for sharing your Greta stories with us. Many of you have said how much you will miss her big laugh, and trust me, I will too.

Since both my mom and my Aunt Heidi lost their husbands early in life, they turned to each other for comfort and friendship. We have often referred to them as “frick and frack” over the years.

They traveled together, visiting us in Denver as well as trips to New England and up down the coast of California.

But beyond that, they shared the simple things in life, like watching game shows, each from their respective houses, while talking on the phone together 50 times a day.

I ask you, friends of Greta, to help me support Heidi… because I know she now has a huge gaping hole in her life.

If you know my family, we are all girls. From Germany to America, generations up and down, it was girls upon girls.

When I told Mom I was having a boy she said, and I quote, “what the hell are we going to do now?”

What she learned is boys are pretty special. Her grandson Dex was soon followed by my sister’s son and I know they were the light of her life.

People have said cancer took my mom too early and that is certainly true. But I also think about how hard she fought, for how long. She had heart and cancer problems for many years.

She fought hard, so she could be with us longer. Because mom was a fighter.

Her life wasn’t always easy but she sacrificed and scraped so my sister and I could have a better one.

In the end, the family was all there with her, over varying times, that day.

I was honored to hold her hand as she passed.

I told her, “We’re here.”

She said, “I know.”

Those were the very last words she spoke.

Many people hoped to see her before she died, and I’m so sorry that didn’t work out.

But I want you to know, that she knew.

She knew that we all loved her.

Thank you.

family700

Road Trip to Mount Rushmore - Family Travel
Jul 2016
06

Road Trip: Mount Rushmore for a Long Weekend

A few weeks ago, my family and our best friend’s family did a tag-team road trip to Mount Rushmore. Neither of us had ever been, and the area is a quick 5-6 hour drive from Denver. So we decided to pack as much as we could into a 3-day weekend… but as I started to research the Black Hills area of South Dakota, I realized there were many things we would not be able to fit in!

I will describe where we went, and some alternatives/add-ons you may consider if you have more time. I definitely recommend planning at least the driving route fairly well because we lost cell service many times over the weekend – and, as always when driving in the west – be mindful of how full your gas tank is.

Road Trip to Mount Rushmore

My teenager. Hanging out with buffalo. As one does.

We pretty much did a loop, since we were coming in from the south. The map below shows our route, and while this seems like a huge amount of ground to cover, we did Hot Springs to Deadwood in one (long) day. Continue reading…