08 April 2014

Before Dave and I got married, he came home and handed me a box from his Grandma with my name on it.  In it, her pearl necklace.  Her husband gave it to her and she was gifting to me.  She didn’t do it at my shower, she did it in her special Kelly way and it’s something I will be forever grateful to have been given.  I cried, both for the sentiment and for her welcome into the family with something so personal.  She has noticed and delighted every single time I wore that necklace over the last nine years, she’d pat her neck and wink at me. 

Yesterday, I hope she was there to notice when Dave’s sister, who was gifted a similar necklace for her own wedding, and I wore them to say goodbye to her. 

It was a hard goodbye to say.

Everyone that Kelly touched will tell you how much she was admired, how kind she was, or how warm she was with friends and strangers alike. They’ll tell you how thoughtful notes were slipped into the mail and there, scrawled across the page in her beautiful penmanship was ‘I thought you might like this,‘ and an article carefully clipped out of the newspaper about something you’d talked about or a thank you card for some inconsequential thing you did for her.  Her neighbor recalled the time when she brought Kelly some tomatoes from the garden and Kelly called her the very next day, just raving about the tomatoes.  Finally, Mary Ann said, “Kelly!  They’re just tomatoes!” and Kelly responded with, “Well, Mary Ann, they sure taste better than the ones you get in the store!  Don’t they? I’m just so happy you brought them over.” 

She was gracious, thoughtful, and an amazing hostess.  My sister in law and I were laughing because we found just gobs of party things she had tucked away in the house.  I pulled out some hilarious Easter plates from the seventies and made my mother in law promise that we could use them for dessert this year because I’m pretty sure she would have loved that.  Her pastor talked about the time that he had been over to the house to visit and noticed and remarked on this beautiful orange pot she had.  A week later, a yellow orange Le Creuset arrived at their house as a gift to his wife.  It made me cry the moment he started talking about it, because the original has lived at our house the last five years, it was getting too heavy for her and she knew Dave and I would love and use it as much as she had.  Every time I make something in it, Dave and I swear it’s got 50 years worth of Kelly’s cooking magic in it.

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I loved her even more for treasuring our children the way she did.

When Finnegan was born, she decided that she wanted to come up with her own special name.  She settled on Oma, a German term of endearment similar to Granny, that fit her to a T.  Her parents were from the old country and she would lapse into German cooing with our kids frequently, something Dave and I loved to listen to.  Even he, with four years of German didn’t understand a thing she was telling them, but that seemed inconsequential because they could feel her sentiment.  She tutted over anything Finn told her, from stories about super heroes to race cars and everything in between she listened and soaked in every detail like he was the most important person in the world.  They were thick as thieves, she marveled over how tall he was or how much he was learning in school.  He would write her these little notes telling her that she was cool or that he loved her, she saved them and made sure he updated them.  We were over there just two weeks ago and she was laughing hysterically because Tate asked her to drum something and then promptly removed the drumsticks from her hand when she started to play.  She looked at us, “I guess I must be a terrible drummer!” and then peals of laughter. 

She’d fill our kids pockets up with little candies and when I caught her, she’d reply to me, “well what’s the point of being this old if I can’t do things like this?”  You could see the twinkle in her eye when she feigned innocence in whatever outlandish thing she decided to do, like the time she made the family dogs Cornish game hens for Thanksgiving.  Once, shortly after our honeymoon, Dave and I were telling her about this amazing meal we had in Ireland and how much I loved sticky toffee pudding, so she {without internet} tracked down a company that made it in the US and had it shipped for Christmas dinner as a surprise for me.  She did these very Kelly things and then would look at us with a smirk, like we were the silly ones when we sat there mouths agape.  She was a force to be reckoned with.  She did things solely for the absolute joy it brought others and sometimes for her own amusement and I don’t think there was a thing in the world that she couldn’t make happen if she wanted to. 


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She’s a woman I wish everyone had the pleasure of knowing, she will be missed immeasurably.  She will be missed at every holiday absent from her table.  She will be missed each time I come to her house not wearing socks and there isn’t anyone to fret about it.  She will be missed in a hundred tiny ways.  She will be missed each time we see one of her aprons without her in it.  She will be missed with every inch Finnegan grows, with each time Megan and I wear her pearls, and for every single one of her distinctly Kelly things that is missing from our lives. 

She will be missed.  I am so grateful to Dave for sharing her with me for the last twelve years.  


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AnotherDreamer said...

She sounds like she was wonderful. I am so sorry for your loss.

Ashley Ferger said...


Samantha said...

So sorry for your loss! <> said...

Oma is such a great name! Sounds like a wonderful woman to cherish always!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute! I think you were blessed to be a part ot each others lives. :-)

Alyjean said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sitting here crying my eyes out for you, not only because what you wrote was so beautiful, but also because it reminded me of how I miss my Grandma so very much.

Abbi and Karri said...

Oma sounds magical!! I'm so sorry you all lost her. xo

Ashton Billings said...

She sounds like an AMAZING woman and I can relate as I have my own Oma here!! My grandmother and her I think would've gotten along beautifully and would've had so many things in common had they ever known each other!! I'm so sorry for your loss and I know how hard it must be as I have told my grandmother (who chose her own nickname when I was born and Nana has stuck through my 30 years and countless more children) when I loose her, they WILL be putting me in the nut-house! LOL I can see in the words you have written about her just how much she meant to your family and just how much she will never be replaced or forgotten!! I can only pray that with loosing this generation of AMAZING women, that their legacies and their ways will not be forgotten either. With what this world has turned into, we need more Oma's and Nana's before it's too late!!

Just A Normal Mom said...

What an amazing tribute to what sounds like an amazing woman. It brought a tear to my eye - half sad, half happy for all the wonderful things you said about her. I'm sorry for your family's loss.

Angela Brennan said...

So sorry for your loss. She sounds like the perfect grandparent! I presume there's a bit of Irish there with a surname like Kelly? Reading and enjoying your blog from Cork, Ireland.

Jessica @ Wanting Adventure said...

What a beautiful post. I'm so sorry to hear about her passing but what a relationship she had with those in her family! She sounds so awesome.

@JessEsco said...

What an amazing woman, and an amazing tribute that I'm sure she'd be so proud of. Love to you and Dave.

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