Monday, February 01, 2010

Grandma Gerich. April 5th 1913-Feb 1st 2010

Just got a text from my dad informing me that my grandmother passed away this morning. Here she is recently with my kids.

I remember when I was just a kid. My mother would take my sisters and I to visit my grandma and grandpa every Friday. I was too young to realize how much time it would take to drive to their house, my mom could only put the distance in terms I could understand "One Bozo show away"
My grandma and grandpa lived in a big farm house. There was a barn full of equipment and tools, which smelled like stale beer (my grandpa crushed and recycled aluminum cans as a money maker on the side). A charming wooden fence surrounded the property, which was hilly and lush with trees and grass. My grandparents kept a substantial garden, which they harvested and cooked from.
The porch of the big white house overlooked the barn and driveway. A card table was usually set up inside the porch with the remnants of a euchre game still on it. As you entered the house, the smell of chicken soup, baked goods and coffee permeated the air. I remember grandma always had wishbones from the chickens she had cooked with for the grand kids to make our wishes with.
My grandma cooked all the time, my favorites of course, were her desserts. Every Easter, she would make these pastries shaped like Easter eggs with frosting and flowers, and small, bite-sized cupcakes.
I remember her basement, cool and damp, with a pool table. I remember the dining room, which we never used, and the cabinets in with paper and crayons for us to draw on. I remember the t.v. room and the back porch, and the stairs leading to the second floor, where my mother's room was when she was a kid.
I remember playing outside, laying down in the cool grass, seeing shapes in the clouds. We would build forts with the old wood we would find lying around, play hide-and-seek, and run until our faces were red and we were full of sweat. My grandma would have refreshing Kool-Aid for us.
It was a great time and place to be a kid, my granparents made it that way.
After my grandfather (Papa) died, my grandma moved closer to town. She survived quite well on her own, going grocery shopping and taking walks. I would hear stories of her falling occasionally, getting a huge, ugly, purple bruise, but not being worse for the wear. My grandma came from good stock. She was tough and hearty, able to weather any storm.
Toward the end, she lived with my parents. I got a chance to see her a few months ago, and although she was a bit more frail and weak, I could still make her laugh (usually at the expense of my father). I think that's what I remember about her the most, her laugh. It was unbridled, joyous. Now as I think of her, I can still hear that laugh, and I can see her eyes, her head tilted back and the huge, inviting smile on her face as she chuckled.

My grandma lived to be 96 years old. She is survived by her three daughters, and countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Rest in peace grandma, and tell Papa I said "Hi"


Steve Hearn said...

Thinking of you and your family at this time Kenny, your all in my prayers.

Michael Duron said...

VERY sorry to hear that buddy. My love and prayers to you and the family.

Kenny Durkin said...

Thanks guys, I really appreciate it.

Red from Ktown said...

So nice. Your memories are golden. I have a lot of those too, although my Gma on my dad's side only lived to 80 I think. Makes you cherish those last few visits even more! Great that your kids got to see her so recently too.