Hope Wissel

Happy Birthday Grams

Happy 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, our 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 grandparents or one of my aunts was the designated babysitter. I remember my grandmother cooking big Sunday dinners as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. The smell of homemade pies would fill the air – my favorite was cherry. When we got our dog, Lisa, my grandparents became the dog-sitter as well as the baby-sitter. Lisa was not happy when she was left home alone. When mom-mom went to the store one day and she actually left the radio on in the kitchen going out the back door so that Lisa would not feel like she is alone.

Fast forwarded – I was headed to college at 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, our 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 Pop-pop 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 surrounded by family. 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.  She couldn’t wait to tell the world.  She was one of my biggest supporters during this difficult time.

Mom-mom didn’t give a lot of hugs to us growing up.  She was strong, supportive, kind and loving.  She quietly took care of us  – meals, laundry, cleaning and the list went on.  I was always amazed that she never learned how to drive but that didn’t stop her.  If she needed to go anywhere – she walked.    Saying “I love you” were words that didn’t flow easily off her tongue until “the little princess” was born.

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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