Grandma Butler

My husband’s grandmother passed away this morning. We found out about it through my sister-in-law, who read about it on her cousin’s Facebook page. I’ve been reluctant to set up a Facebook account…but gee, if my sister-in-law didn’t have a Facebook page (and didn’t check it regularly), we still wouldn’t know about Grandma Butler. It does provide a means for staying in touch…

I think my husband is pretty lucky to still have grandparents in his 40s…I was 11 when my first grandparent died and I was in my 20s when my last two grandparents died.

I remember when I first met Grandma Butler. I was 17 years old and my husband (then boyfriend) wanted me to meet his grandparents and all his aunts, uncles and cousins. So they had this big get-together over Thanksgiving weekend and we drove over. I come from a very small family…I have one sibling who is almost nine years younger than I am and both my parents are only children, so I’ve never had aunts, uncles and cousins.

I was really nervous about meeting all these people. What if they didn’t like me? But I ended up having the time of my life that day. Everyone was so nice to me! Especially my husband’s grandmother. She was about my height and she came and shook my hand and told me how happy she was to meet me. She put me right at ease (even though we got there just as everyone was getting ready to eat). She talked to me…and she seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me.

I remember my husband and I went outside and pulled all his cousins around on the sled and I told him I thought he was lucky to have such a big family.

I remember thinking Grandma Butler’s stuffing was the best stuffing I’d ever had in my life…and then I found out it had oysters in it. I don’t like oysters.

I also remember thinking Grandma Butler’s pumpkin pie (they called it pumpkin pie) was the best pumpkin pie I’d ever had…and then I found out it wasn’t pumpkin pie at all; it was squash pie. I don’t like squash.

When it was time to leave, Grandpa Butler told my husband to bring me back again. And on the way back to my house, I told my husband to bring me back again.

And he did! He brought me back often…I remember picking strawberries in their garden…and Grandma Butler’s canned green beans (again, the best green beans I’d ever had…but I actually liked green beans!)…and many, many trips to their little lake home in northern Minnesota. I remember the Lady’s Slipper that grew along the drive of that lake home. I’ll never forget the HUGE gardens Grandpa Butler planted (even now…he still has a garden at the little apartment complex he lives in).

I noticed Grandma Butler wasn’t looking so good last summer…and she didn’t send a letter this Christmas like she always used to…so it’s not a surprise. But I actually knew her (and Grandpa Butler) for more years than I knew any of my own grandparents…she will be missed.

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