I have no baby book, and pictures from my infancy are few and far between, most having perished in an apartment fire when I was very young. But the image that stands out in my mind is a picture of a teeny, tiny me being held by my Grandma Higgins.
Grandma died yesterday at the age of 97. She was a tough and resilient woman who lived for much of her adult life in the same house she raised her children in. I don't know much about her early years, except that she was a farm girl who married a school teacher and had five children. And she was an excellent seamstress, a skill she passed along to my mother, who in turn taught me.
What I know most of my grandmother comes from being her granddaughter - and a far away one, at that. While all of my cousins grew up nearby (several next door and a few one house away), we lived a nine-hour car ride away. So our visits to her house were cause for great celebration, and all my memories of Grandma's are of fun times - playing in the creek behind her house, tag in the field with cousins, sledding down the hill in her side yard come winter.
She was a youthful grandmother well into old age. Her visits to our house usually meant batches upon batches of fresh-baked cookies and lots of game playing. She even taught my sister and I how to play penny-ante poker so that she and Mom could play. And in her later years, once the casinos came to town, every trip to Illinois for her also meant a trip to "the boats".
One year for my birthday, Grandma treated me to getting my ears a second-piercing. But the fun part was watching her get her ears double-pierced too!
A lot of haphazard memories here, cobbled together in tribute to a woman I loved. I'll miss you, Grandma!