Grandma Val passed away not too long ago. I don’t think she and i ever met until after Mutti and Chris got married. I remember coming home from college to visit my family over the Easter holiday, and I had Easter dinner with my newly mixed family. I had been nervous about meeting my mom’s new in-laws because as with all families, there had been some tension and I can sometimes be defensive of my mother.
Val was shy, and maybe a little introverted. She might not have been overly outgoing when I was there, but she made sure everyone was well fed, and she even surprised me with an Easter basket. This immediately made me feel like I was part of the family, even though I hadn’t lived at home for many years and even though this was the first time I had participated in a Morris/Hanson family event.
And every time I went home to New Mexico after that, we’d have Sunday dinners with Grandma Val and the family. She’d make a point to take out the good dishes, the wine glasses, always made sure that there was red wine in the house because she knew I liked it, even though she didn’t drink. Grandma Val helped my little sister plan my New Mexico wedding shower, and that meant a lot to me, too. It was a beautiful day, the food was great, and the companionship was even better.
The Friday night after Grandma Val passed away, we ordered pizza. I drank Dr. Pepper. We watch Star Trek. The real Star Trek. With the real Captain.
I have some of her jewelery, some penguins, and a lovely mauve/purple colored ceremonial communion chalice of hers that I claimed last time I was in New Mexico. This Samhain season I honor her by including her jewelery with that of my blood grandmothers, who get a special bowl of jewels on my altar every October.
Grandma Val was a friend to my mother, a grandmother to my sisters, and a strong matriarch to the Hanson/Morris clan. I'm sad I wasn't able to spend more time with her, but I'm glad for the time we did have. I'm thankful for her in that she took care of my family when I was not there to do it. She loved her family very much, blood and otherwise. She is an example of the saying I grew up with, "mi casa es su casa".
And after a long, extremely painful fight, I'm glad she is at rest. Blessings, love, and honor to Grandma Val!