Disclaimer: this post may seem sad. But if you look deep enough - it’s actually very happy.
Christmas Eve night, my family and I sat down to a huge traditional meal (it’s our tradition to eat lasagna on Christmas Eve - the big turkey meal is on Christmas Day). And my dad made a toast - to keeping family traditions alive ... and I think it was the first time I realized that I was ready to talk about my grandma.
And see us she did. In fact, she not only saw us, she recognized us (she heard my voice before she could even see me - from across the room), she spoke to me, she moved her hand up to me to hold my hand, she laughed, she smiled and it was the most wonderful day. Three days after that, she died.
And this is where it became hard to blog about.
I have a lot of personal feelings about her and about our relationship (all truly wonderful) ... and quite frankly ... I have just decided to keep them personal. I hold them very dear and it’s very very hard to talk or blog about them.
So, for now, I’m just going to describe her (and perhaps you will see some of the things that made her so special through my descriptions).
Lynette Helen Mee: January 1910 - December 2010:
Lynette Mee was born Lynette Seelig in Northport Michigan in 1910. She was the youngest of 6 girls - born into a German family (her parents are seen below). She and her sisters were not your typical group of women in that time period. They were encouraged to learn (in fact, their parents wanted them all to go to college), to study, and to have fun. And all of those things she did quite well. She graduated high school at just 16 years old - as valedictorian of her class (she was also the captain of her high school basketball team(seen below)).After that, she packed up her steamer trunks and headed (via train) to Michigan State University (by herself). Seriously, at 16...I was still picking my nose and whining to my parents about how hard algebra was.
At 18 years old she graduated from college (from Western Michigan University - she had transferred when she decided to become a teacher (graduation picture below)) and started her first teaching job (with 51 first graders - all of which could successfully read at the end of the school year). Later in life (while working as a teacher and raising two children) she earned her Masters Degree in education (she loved teaching - see below).
Do you see a pattern of (over) achievement here?
She met my grandpa (who’s parents owned a resort (read: speakeasy)) and had a garden wedding at her childhood home (seriously, how cute is that?).
She was a wonderful mother (so I am told by my mom and uncle (and everyone else that knew her)), she was the most wonderful grandmother (I could go on and on about how amazing she was ... in fact, my friends and I still talk about how much fun she was at my wedding (see below)),
she was a wonderful teacher, cook, role model (not a day goes by that I don’t ask myself what my grandma would think of me, how she would handle something or what she would do), pool player, poker player (in fact, she laughed out loud when I visited her a few weeks back because I told her I was going to break her out and bring her gambling), and great-grandmother (here she is with Carter when he was 7 months old). Carter had the honor to meet her and play with her and she loved Carter dearly.
Avery however did not get much of a chance to know her. I really wish that she had. Avery does have a very special piece of her great-grandma though...her name.
Avery’s middle name is Lyn - after her great-grandmother Lynette.
And I will spend the rest of my life making sure she knows how special that name is - because of how special the person she was named after was.