Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Letters Across the Miles

Dear Kristine,

Oh what a week it has been.  At 12:05 am on Sunday my Nana passed away.  Five minutes after her 84th birthday.  She had been battling Alzheimer's for a long time and now she is dancing an Irish Jig among the stars.

She always had a smile radiating from her face.  Her patience, kind heart, and loving spirit was infused into everyone around her.  During the end of her life the conversation was mostly focused around the disease. Now that she has passed there are so many wonderful memories being shared about her time here.

She was married to my Pop-Pop for 62 years.  Together they raised eleven children.  She was a part of twenty three grand children's lives and also six great grand children.  There are also a countless number of friends of the family who say they are the twelfth and thirteenth Belthoff.

It is amazing to look at these numbers and witness first hand how tight knit this family dynamic is.  A family that large is rare to find these days.  And a family that hangs out together, laughs deeply, and is there for one another no matter what is also not so easy to find, but that is the Belthoff family.

I am one of the lucky ones.  I was blessed to be able to grow up with all four of my grandparents.  In fact they lived around the block from one another.

I have so many wonderful memories of my Nana.  Having raised eleven kids she was the all knowing one.  When I had the chicken poxs and my mom wasn't sure she brought me over to her house to confirm.  I remember standing on the kitchen chair as my Nana inspected me.

Every year for Easter she gave each grandchild a stuffed animal in their Easter basket.  Just imagine over time how many stuffed animals that is.  My mom still lines the steps of our home with those bunnys and chicks each Easter.

She had a warm heart and the brightest smile.  I never once heard her raise her voice.  She had a deep love for her family and the New York Yankees.  She also deeply loved each of the four legged barking friends that we a part of her life throughout.  Taffy stayed by her side the last few months before her passing and gave my Nana so much joy.

Although this is a really sad time I know in my heart that my Nana lived 84 beautiful years.  All of us have so many incredible memories stored in our hearts.  She will live on in each of us for sure.

So my world has been turned upside down a bit, but so has everyone's world with the bombing at the Marathon in Boston.  My heart just breaks to see moments like this occur in our world.  I know that you are near that area, how are things going near you?  Are you close to where it occurred?

My dear friend, I hope where you are the sun is shining on you.  I know you started a new job and would love to hear about it.  Please share any bright and shiny news you have.  The world needs to hear it.

Sending you so much love!



Karen D said...

whaf a beautiful tribute. The love beaming from both of you in the picture fills my heart with hope and joy.

much love to you and yours

Kathryn said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I'm so sorry Jennifer, she sounds as though she was a truly special and amazing woman and will be greatly missed. Sending lots of love to you and your family. Big hug. xoxo

Gloria King said...

My friend I wish I could be near you so I could come over and give you a huge hug.I hope you know you are loved . I think of you often and send you rainbows and much love.. You have touched my life forever just know time heals ..You are beautiful just like your nana..Love You G

Kristine said...

Sending only bright skies your way, Jennifer!