Wednesday, May 27, 2009
80 Years Young
On Saturday, my family had a surprise party for my Grandma Willy, at my Aunt Christina's gorgeous house in San Fran. There were 15 of us, we had a wonderful dinner at Pres a Vi, in the Presidio - scrumptious! My brother actually bought me the ticket to San Fran for Mother's Day - so sweet!! My Grandma was truly surprised. She cried at each person's entrance!
My Grandma, is a gracious, feminine, sassy lady, I like to think I get the sassy side of me from her. She is also very caring, funny, and she sings and dances when she is happy or excited (Sarah and I get that from her too). She truly has endured a hard life, growing up in Amsterdam, living thru the War, flying with her new husband (Jacob) to Canada to start a new life (getting motion sick on the plane ride and throwing up on her new suit she made herself - because the barf bag had a hole in it- awful - but that story has stuck with me for so long). She had 4 kids (about 6 years apart) in Canada (my Mom being the eldest), in the snow, cloth diapers, super tiny car - need I say more!! About 1o years later she took them on a train ride to California (a few days, no beds or showers), moved to Ventura then had one more kiddo - Christina. She lost my Grandfather about 17 years ago, and has become very independent since. She just had a knee replacement - at 79 years old - and is doing great - it was very tough, but she is very strong!! Up until the past few years she was still hiking and even backpacking. She can walk faster than I can and she is 80 with a knee replacement, in fact I believe she passed up Jeff and my Uncle Paul, said something embarrassing to them of course, while we walked thru Golden Gate Park.
She also traveled by herself back to Amsterdam many times until this year to visit her sister who has since passed away. She still travels to Canada to see her other sister as well.
She is a very thoughtful woman, who like many other Grandmothers I'm sure, sends articles from the newspaper to you , just because they remind her of you. She sends hand written notes, which we don't get many of anymore. She makes sweaters for her 3 Great Grandchildren, Cross Stitches beautiful pictures for them as well. She gives herself to many people, including her family and the needy in her volunteer work. She makes the best cookies, the best Liverwurst sandwiches, lentil soup, dutch pancakes and many other great meals that I don't make!! She can use every last bit of something or make left overs last forever - but still manage to make them taste good - another thing I don't know quite how to do yet!!
She plays a mean card game, likes her tea extra hot and enjoys a good drink!!
She can tell a person how she wants something, when she wants it with no problem (I get that from her too)!!
She is an amazing woman and makes me want to be a better, stronger woman!
Happy 80th Grandma!!