Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Leona Walber

Leona Walber peacefully passed away last Saturday.

She was my grandma. Maybe not by blood but definitely by love.

Leona helped babysit my sister and I while my parents worked. She was only going to babysit us for a little while until my parents could find a full time daycare or sitter. Well that little while turned out to be 35+ years.

Over the years she became a friend and family member.

I remember playing paddy cake and her teaching me to tie my shoes. She would help me with homework, and even let me watch her cook. She told me once after I stuck my tongue out at a girl that it means I really wanted to kiss her. Believe me I never did that again while growing up. Later in life she taught my cousin and I how to make her yarn hangers.

I remember how cold her hands always were. They felt like she kept them in the freezer. Grandma always said "Cold hands mean a warm heart". That she did have too; always room in her heart for her family and mine.

As I got older I remember the conversations we had as I drove her to my parents house for the holidays she would spend with us. Catching me up with all the people from the neighborhood. Or, how she would ask me about my love life or joke about how I used to tell her I was going to be a priest. We used to count steps when we went up and down stairs so she knew when we got to the top or bottom. She used to tell me I shouldn't fuss so much with taking her places since her walking was slow and eyes bad. I never thought of it as a fuss. I wish I could have that fuss one more time.

Oh and how could I forget about all the food? The apple fritters, cookies, dot oyster crackers, and dumplings. Whenever she was cooking I knew it was going to be a filling meal. I never went hungry when I was visiting with Grandma.

The last couple years have been hard with her eye sight and hearing gone. I know she is now in a better place, where she can walk as fast as she wants and see far enough to watch over me. But i know one thing for sure... her hands are still cold and I am still in her warm heart.
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