Monday, July 6, 2009

End of an era.

Saturday as I was having coffee with some of my friends, I got a message from my mom simply saying, "Crystal. It's your mom. Give me a call when you get this message." I knew instantly that bad news was on its way. My suspicions were confirmed when my mother told me that my great grandmother has passed away.

Honestly, this news did not surprise me much. My great grandmother was 109. Yes, you read that right. 109! Goldie Grody Stambach, was born April 10th, 1900. Here is an article the newspaper did about her birthday this year.

I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to know my great grandmother, let alone share 34 years of my life with her. I'll admit that growing up, I wasn't extremely close to her. I'd see her at various holidays and large family reunions. I know everyone in my family has their own stories about Grandma. Here are the few things I remember about her.

  1. First and foremost, my great grandmother was the one thing in my life that remained unchanged. She was always the same. Even in her late 90's she was just as sharp and lively as she had always been.
  2. She loved jewelery.
  3. I would sometimes play the card game Skipbo with her and when she focused on her hand intently, her eyebrows would wiggle up and down. I know that sounds silly, but I'll never forget that about her. It was almost an involuntary movement, and I loved it.
I also remember that every time she came to our house she always wanted to see the horses. She seemed to always enjoy saying "hi" and giving the horse a pet. It didn't' occur to me until I was in my late teens that perhaps this gave her a sense of nostalgia. When she was a girl there were few cars if any. Everyone had horses. That led me to think of how much things changed just within her lifetime. She went from horse and buggies to seeing a man walk on the moon. Seriously, how does one process all of that?

Then today I received the following message:

I was doing a search on my great-grandmother Goldie passing away when I came across your c.heis website posting your great-grandmothers 109th birthday in April.

Yes, thanks to Facebook I met a cousin that lives halfway across the country that I didn't even know I had. I even got goosebumps. My new relative and I have exchanged a few more friendly emails, and with every response the same thought keeps going through my head. I bet Grandma would never believe this.

In Memorial

Goldie Grody Stambach (1900 - 2009)


Elaine said...

Crystal, what a wonderful tribute to Grandma. Do you have any idea how proud I am of you. You are the joy of my life.

Robin said...

Here's one of my memories by proxy about Grandma. She was known for her pie crusts. Your Mom and my Mom used to talk about how on Sunday afternoons everyone would meet at Grandma's after church. The ladies gossiped around the kitchen table while she labored at the counter "up to her elbows" in flour. I'll bet her eyebrows were wiggling up and down as she concentrated on that conversation too.
Oh! Did you know she liked to watch Jerry Springer? At least when he became a *popular* trashy talk show.