September 11th was my grandmother's birthday. After a long, full life of almost 91 years, she passed away last year. When I was growing up, she was one of my favorite people in the world. Her maiden name was Kelly. She always told me that there were a lot of girls named "Kelly", but not that many that had a *real* reason for the name...like me...LOL! I know it made her really happy that my mom and dad named me Kelly and it always got me extra brownie points with her.
My grandmother always loved kids and was awesome to us when we were growing up. She was the catcher at our family softball games, she played football with us on Thanksgiving. She also taught us how to play Buzz, Bunco, Pass the Aces and many other card games. And, we always played for money....her money. :) She loved swimming with us and hiking at Starved Rock with us. She let us help put up her Christmas tree every year and she even let me play with her Nativity Scene. She had the best Nativity Scene ever....it had so many pieces! She sent me mail at college at least a few times a week....most of the time it was comics cut out of the newspaper that she thought I would enjoy. We rarely left her house without a new $2 bill and a bag of leftovers. If you complimented anything of hers, you would be bringing that home too.
I could go on forever...
It makes me sad that the boys only knew her as a very old woman. But, even in her old age, she loved them very much and got so much joy out of them. The boys have been talking about "Grandma Gracie" all day today. I remember last year on September 11th, Drew was at the park and he climbed up to the top of the play structure and started singing "Happy Birthday" to my grandma. He said he went up to the top because he wanted to be as close as he could be to heaven so that she would hear him.
She was a special person and I was very lucky to be her granddaughter.