A Wonderful and Loved Grandma

On February 19th, 2015, my sweet Grandma passed away (wasn't she just beautiful??). She was 89 years old. She was a wonderful grandmother and I feel so blessed for all the time we got with her.
My family has always lived fairly close to her and so my childhood is filled with visits to her house or her coming down to visit us. Before second grade, this also included my grandpa, but he unfortunately died that summer. What a long time to be without your companion. When I heard that she had finally gone (it was a Thursday and she had been struggling for a few days), I felt such loss. Like an end of an era. Grandparents really are something special. After a few minutes, my tears turned more to happiness. Oh, the reunion my grandparents must have had! I can only imagine how long they embraced for! 
I am sure she was also greeted by my aunt, my cousin, the children she lost at birth, and the rest of her family. I think it was a few years after my grandpa passed away, my grandma served a family history mission in Texas. She did so much family history for us. I bet there were plenty of those family members there to welcome her as well :)

The day after Brad left for India, my sister drove down with the boys and I to where my grandparents lived for 20 years, and my grandma for another 10 after he passed, to attend her funeral. SO many childhood memories there, in Paradise, CA. I forgot how much I love it there and it seriously felt like coming home in a way. I loved seeing my kids love it. I'm just going to interject how amazing they did on this trip. They were awesome. We spent some time outside and it just about made my heart burst see my children enjoy what I enjoyed as a kid. My brothers were able to fly out from Utah and Montana, so all us Dell kids were able to be together. I wish we had had more time to just hang out, but I'm just grateful we could all celebrate my wonderful grandma's life together.

While we were there, we drove around to see the old house my grandpa built. We spent so much time outside, exploring or picking the wild blackberries along the road or traversing the creek that ran through the woods. I even remembered the spot where we had come across a buck and it charged at my cousin. So scary when you are young (mmm... scary no matter what age you are...).
That is the store that was down the road from their house we always walked to and we always got War Heads. Just looking at that place made my mouth water and pucker!
The hospital I was born at :)
 My dad informed me the wing pictured below was where I was delivered
And then the house my family lived in when I was born.
After my grandpa died, my grandma sold the house. She eventually settled back down into an older community trailer park. I loved it here. It was so homey and full of love coming to visit her. She always had a cookie jar and a candy dish full. 
The funeral was to be held on Monday. For Sunday dinner, our Aunt Kate had us over for dinner. It had been years since we'd all seen her and I swear she hasn't changed. She's so sweet and has this laugh that is so infectious and genuine. Loved being there and around her again. My boys were smitten with their dogs and when Aunt Kate asked if they wanted to take them for a walk, they were so excited!
Us snuggling in our hotel room. ♥ these boys!!
The next morning was the funeral. We held it at the LDS church building where my Grandpa served as the first bishop of one of the wards and we had had his funeral service in. A bit of a surprise was James became very emotional while we were there. Pretty sure he cried for about twenty (or more) minutes. Nothing I said could get through to the fact that he was going to miss Grandma Great. Sweet little James... I should have seen this coming, he is such a sensitive boy. Finally, we were able to distract him and he listened to what I had to say- even though Grandma Great isn't with us anymore here on Earth, she is waiting for us in heaven. We get to be with her forever. He still talks about her once in a while. The funeral went well- heard sweet stories of our grandparents. Almost all our cousins were there and we always love seeing them. Once the service was over, we all got in our cars to take her casket to the cemetery where she will rest next to her husband. We then headed back for a nice luncheon put on by the ward they used to be in. Such a sweet kindness. Then, sadly, we all went our different ways.
All of the family that could make it. Love them all, even if we aren't always in contact with each other
Our family quickly headed back to the hotel to change and empty my room for checkout. We then went to a local candy store my mom and grandma frequented and picked up some goodies.
After that, it was time for Rach and I to head up north. We really didn't want to, we loved being with our brothers and parents. But Rach had school to get back to and so did James. Before we said our good-byes, I actually remembered to take pictures with my siblings!!
 "I feel like we are some 90's punk band"
 Me- "Wait... are we all posing like that?"
 Aaaand a deep side tickle by the sister I trusted. Betrayed...
 Rachel, Craig, Sam, and me! I love my sister and brothers!
As much as we all will miss our Grandma, I know she is so very happy where she is. I know she is back with my Grandpa, the companion she missed for so many years. I know she is working hard right now and watching over us all. I love her deeply and will hold our memories close to my heart. Love you, Gramma... thanks for be one amazing lady.

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