Legend has it that when I was born, I was an ugly baby. At least compared to the 2 previous beautiful Hansen babies. When my grandma came to see me through the nursery window, she felt sorry for me, and decided that she would love me extra. I've been the recipient of that love for 34 years.
When I was 6, my parents let Angie get her ears pierced, and forced me to have mine done. My grandma thought that Angie and I were the shizzle, and decided to have her granny ears pierced too. She got the same gold star studs that I had. I have those studs in my jewelery box. They're special. She wrote a story about our experience, and it was published in the newspaper. She wrote great stories, and had really good handwriting.
I remember sitting on her lap in the front seat of the white mercedes. That was my special spot. It's also my special luck to still be alive. I would hold on to her index finger. That was my special hand-hold. Grandpa would put on his special driving glasses with the funny crack in them, and we would drive to Sugar House. I was afraid of the statue. Grandma and I would say, "Oooo! Statue! Scary!"
I'm looking forward to going to Utah and seeing my family. Especially my dear mother. My parents live next door to my grandparents. My Mom is a saint, and has given so much in caring for my grandparents. My mom is amazing. When she was just 36 (only 2 years older than I am now!!) her parents were on a mission in Brazil. Her grandfather (my grandma's dad) was 94 and in declining health. My parents cleared out a room in our tiny house filled with 6 little kids, and made room for Grandpa Latimer. He lived with us until he died. I don't know how my mom did that. We were poor. She smiled all the while. Even when she had to bathe him and clean up from his accidents. My Dad was also a Bishop at the time.
When my Grandpa Hansen was declining, my parents took him into their house until he died. They just did it, full-time jobs and busy lives not withstanding. That's what my parents do.
My mom hasn't been able to come to Oregon since Abby was born. That was 18 months ago. She couldn't leave her mom. I know of many Grandma's out there who would be sad about that. Sad about not getting to visit their growing grandchildren. Sad that they couldn't get any Christmas shopping done because of the 24/7 care they were giving to their parents. Burdened by being Relief Society President on top of that.
The amazing thing is this: not a murmur. Nor even a hint at it. My mom knows what it means to serve, and what it means to give and sacrifice. All while smiling.
I love my Mom, and I'm glad I get to see her soon.
I love my Grandma, and I'm glad that I get to see her again someday. But oh, I'm going to miss her.