May 9th, 2013

Zoey's B-day 061Today is my Grandma Shirley’s Birthday. She would’ve been 86 today. I wish with all my heart that she was here to celebrate it with us, but I know she’s in a better place…..

I can see her now, sitting up in Heaven with Grandpa, probably enjoying a glass a whiskey as we speak. Maybe even challenging an old friend to a game Rummy Cube……I’d like to think so anyways.

I have hundreds of photographs, some in black and white, and some in color. When I look back through those photo’s I’m reminded of something……

Grandma lived, with all her heart, she lived, and she enjoyed life to her fullest. Not my fullest, or anyone else’s fullest, but her fullest.

She didn’t have much, but what she did have was enough. She had an appreciation for life, the hard life. Farming and ranching, that’s what she knew, and she loved every second of it.

img0913She used to tell me stories about raking the fields with the horses when she was only 15 or 16 years old. She’d have one horse on each side, propelling the old dump rake forward, while she sat in the middle on an old rusted seat. One time, the old seat collapsed! She said, “Thank God them horses stopped, or I would’ve had a hundred wholes poked through me!” Then she’d laugh, like it was the funniest damn story she ever told.

1942 - 3I like to think of myself as a tomboy, but Grandma, she was the ultimate tomboy. She was pretty too, and from what I understand, there were lots of boys chasing her around. One of which, caught her eye…….

Maybe it was the bright red hair, maybe it was the smile, maybe it was the fact that he was the ALL Star everything and her Daddy didn’t like him, whatever it was, Grandpa Frank won her heart.

They married in February 1946. Not too long after that came my Uncle Ken, and then my Mom. They raised cattle on their little farm in Lonepine Montana, owned the Grocery store for a time, and Grandma even became the Postmaster for a while.

Shirley and FrankWhen I look back through those photographs I see smiles, laughter, friendships, and loving embraces. A childhood full of joy, a road trip with friends, youth and happiness. Memories of a time when life was simple.  So simple, that we sometimes feel as though they missed out on something. Like they somehow missed certain joys that this life has to offer. But the truth is, they didn’t miss anything. They had it all, and more. Grandma wasn’t just content to be a farm girl, or a ranchers wife, she was proud of it, and she was happy.

So when the sadness creeps in, especially on a day like today, when I miss her so much. I try to remember……. she lived her life to her fullest. She didn’t miss out on anything.

She experienced so much, some of which I will probably never get to experience. Like the satisfaction of raising her own cattle, or haying the fields. Growing her own crops, and enjoying the fruits of her labor.

tasha's pics 200She also got to fall in love, and marry her sweetheart. She got to experience all the joys of Motherhood. She watched her children grow up and have babies of their own. She even got to meet her Great Grand Children.

She lived a FULL life, and now, she’s up there, with Grandpa, drinking whiskey and playing Rummy Cube. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Happy Birthday Grandma, I love you with all my heart…….

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