Hope Wissel, Personal Causes


Happy 100th Birthday Grams!  I know there is a massive Weston party happening in heaven today.  Let me share with you a little bit about this AMAZING woman who helped to shape my life.

When I was growing up, my family was very close.  My mom’s parents and sisters lived near us so we were together a lot.  When my parents went out, my baby-sitter was either my grandparents or my aunt.  I remember my grandmother cooking big Sunday dinners and Thanksgiving dinner.  The smell of homemade pies would fill the air.  When we got our dog, Lisa, my grandparents became the dog-sitter as well as the baby-sitter.  I can remember my grandmother going to the store one day and she actually left the radio on in the kitchen going out the back door so that the dog would not feel like she is alone.

Fast forwarded college bound to Roger Williams in Bristol, Rhode Island with my grand parents in their camper.  Each trip back to college included a camper full of snacks, fresh baked goods and lots of stuff!  Once we unloaded everything, dinner was at Tweets, my favorite local Italian/Seafood restaurant.  My grandfather had made friends with the security guard on campus so they were able to park the camper in the lot.  A great perk for the security guard was the homemade baked goods that Mom-Mom always brought for them.

When my grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer, his only request was not to die in a hospital.  My grandmother made sure that didn’t happen.  Day in and day out, she cared for him making sure that his last days were spent at home.  Seeing my grandmother do this opened my eyes to a side of her that she kept hidden from many people.  Mom-mom stayed in their home after Pop-pop died and she continued to be a big part of our lives.  When I found out that I was pregnant, I was scared to tell her.  My fear was that she would be disappointed in the fact that Belinda’s dad had decided that he didn’t want to be part of our lives.  To my relief, Mom-mom was thrilled that she was going to be a GREAT grandmother.

Grams was Belinda’s guardian angel from the very beginning.  The day Belinda was born, Mom-mom became GRAMS and Belinda became her little princess.  Grams would do anything for Belinda and they were inseperable many days.  As Alzheimer took Grams’ memory, “the little princess” was always the ONE person that made her smile.  Life was difficult for all of us during that 10 years – Grams didn’t know who we were, I caused her to be agitated, Edythe evoked anger but Belinda was the calming force.   I am not proud of the fact that we often put Belinda in that position but again, hindsight is wonderful.

Thank you Grams for the handwritten recipes of our favorite dishes, for the vacation memories, for being such a BIG part of my daughter’s life and for being you!  I love you and I miss you but I know that you are watching over us along with our other Weston angels.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!



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