Thursday, April 5, 2012

In Memory...

Dolores Kathryn Kranzberg Wolf
August 22, 1918 - April 4, 2012


Early this morning (**this was started yesterday, April 4th), I received that phone call...the kind of phone call that no one ever likes to receive. However, in this case it was more of a blessing and received with a sense of comfort and peace than saddness. It was news that my grandmother passed on.

Grandma will be laid to rest next weekend in St. Louis, Missouri on April 14, which is the perfect date. On April 14, 1939 the young Dolores Kranzberg married the handsome Daniel D Wolf, my grandfather who passed away a little over 3 years ago. So next weekend, not only will my family and I be celebrating the life of a wonderful, inspiration woman but will also be celebrating the reunion of two souls.

Photos of the young Mrs. Wolf - these photos were sent to grandpa when he was stationed across the seas during the war. On the back, grandma wrote:
"Your pin-up girl - ha! ha! This isn't a very good picture, but will give you some idea of what I mean when I say I have a sad look to my face these days."
Grandma and Grandpa - celebrating grandpa's 85th birthday (2002?)
Grandma told me stories of when she and grandpa were apart during the war. She missed him so much! I know that since his death, a day didn't go by without a thought of grandpa! They taught me the true meaning of love and the dedication it takes to be married.

Grandma also taught me the importance of holidays - any holiday and every holiday! The house always smelled good as the oven held some sort of her famous chocolate bundt cake with "grandma's icing"...or the fryer sizzling with her special fried chicken. didn't matter.
Food...Family...Friends...Fun! That is what it was all about.

Grandpa, Grandma and me - standing near the Christmas tree (1969?)
Grandma was never far away...if she wasn't visiting us or we weren't visiting her, she was always a phone call away! During my teen years, when life seemed a little confusing, she was there to lend an ear and always seemed to say the right thing, something that helped to me to make sense of life.

My grandma (1969?)

My grandmother taught me how to appreciate art..
I remember rainy days at her house typically lead to an afternoon of making Shrinky Dinks; there was a Christmas when we worked on felt Christmas Ornaments; many trips to the St. Louis Art Museum. Grandma also taught me how to embroider and to cross-stitch. I remember going with her to Ben Franklin and picking out a selection of DMC threads, my first wooden hoop and needles. We went back to her house and drew out a rainbow, a cloud, and - of course - the pot of gold. With satin stitches, I had the perfect rainbow!

Grandma showed me ways to enjoy history as we would tour many old, historic homes together - I remember a trip I took with Grandma and Grandpa to Hannibal, Missouri where I learned about Mark Twain and got to see the "real" white picket fence that Tom Sawyer painted.

Long trips across the country were turned into an adventure when taken with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma would make grandpa stop at little country antique stores where she would find all sorts of treasures; we would stop at unique places to eat or stay for the night. One of my favorites was the Dutch town of Pella, Iowa we would stay over night - kind of the midway point between Minnesota and St. Louis (for many summers, my grandparents would visit us in Minnesota in June and after a visit, I would get to go back to their house for a week. Sometimes by myself and sometimes with 1 or both of my sisters). We would always stop at the little bakery and load up on some Almond "S's" and other Dutch treats. We would stay at the Dutch Mill Inn. We would play in the little park and make long chains out of clover flowers.

Starting from the top left and going clockwise: Sister Jamie, Me, Sister Debbie and Grandma
 (grandpa's 85th birthday - taken at Crazy Crab in Hilton Head)

When Grandpa passed away in December of 2008, it didn't slow grandma down. While she missed him dearly, she did continue to live life to the fullest! Living in Hilton Head, a wonderful vacation place, her house always seems to be full with visitors. I swear she should have opened up a bed and breakfast, for not only did friends and family stay and eat well at her house, she definitely played the role of Island Tour Guide and Event planner - making everyone's stay there amazing. She also found opportunities to travel herself. A few of my boys' hockey tournaments were blessed with her presence.
2009 National Championship, North Carolina - (left to right): Me, FIL Clyde, MIL Holly, Robert and Grandma, my mother (behind grandma), Cousin Charlie, my father and my Uncle Doug.

2010 Tournament in St. Louis - (left to right): Robert, Grandma, my mother, Matthew and Me
When we found out that both boys' hockey team would be travelling to St. Louis for a tournament (yes, both would be playing - a rariety) my family from Minnesota, my uncle from North Carolina, my uncle from Colorado and my grandmother from South Carolina all met for a little hockey and for a little reunion!
Grandma...there is such a void in my life without you. On Feb. 7th, the day of your stoke, I have to admit I was happy that you were still with us...but really upset and sad when I heard that it affected your speech. Talking to you weekly was part of my routine. A phone conversation with you always brightened up my day, for I would get to tell you all the happenings in our household. We would laugh as I would share with you stories of my adolescent boys and my husband; and you would enlighten me with some wonderful wisdom of your life. When the phone hung up, I would feel lighter...richer...comforted...supported...loved.

Yes, I will miss these phone calls and miss having you here on earth. But it is comforting to know, that you have moved on...a new "chapter", if you will...reunited with grandpa and other family and friends. You have a new place to explore, new antique shops to visit.

The most important thing that I learned from my grandmother???
Life life to the fulliest by laughing and surrounding yourself with friends and family!

Until next time...remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!


CalamityJr said...

Oh, Lisa, I'm crying and smiling both while reading your stories of your sweet grandmother and picturing her reunion with the love of her life. You truly have been blessed to have her in your life - and I say have, because she'll always be with you. Hope you can feel the hug I'm sending you, along with prayers for your whole family during this time of grief. Blessings!

Cole said...

Lisa, what wonderful memories you're sharing! A beautiful tribute to your grandmother, without a doubt. Sending you a big hug from here.

valerie said...

Wonderful tribute to your Grandma. I am so sorry for your loss.

MoonBeam said...

A very nice tribute. My mom just died two weeks ago, but she, too, is at peace now.


Dani - tkdchick said...

Sorry for your loss

Nancy said...

Lisa, I am sorry for your loss but so happy that you shared some of your wonderful memories of your Grandma with us. Sharing these memories will help you grieve. She will be forever in your heart.

Catherine said...

So sorry to read of your loss. Your words about your grandmother are wonderful. You definitely have many memories to hold on to.

Kathy A. said...

What a lovely, lovely tribute to your grandmother.She was truly blessed to have you to share with.

DaisyGirl said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your beloved Grandma! It is awesome you have wonderful memories of her! Hang in there Lisa!

jayne@~an eye for threads~ said...

Lisa, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you have so many wonderful memories tugging at your hearts.
God Speed.
I hope you are well and I know that you are probably the one holding everything up for everyone all while maintaining your ever so busy schedule. Take a Lisa moment every day and do what you love to do, even if it is only for a moment.
Be always in stitches.