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Weekend Rewind - Visiting Great Aunt Ruth

Yesterday I told you about my Saturday, today it's about my Sunday.

Friday night my dad talked to his cousin who lives in Quincy, Illinois about going down to visit him, his wife, brother and his mom - my sweet Grandma's sister.  Grandma passed away almost 8 years ago now and that was the last time I saw Aunt Ruth.  They decided to  make it work on Sunday so Saturday my mom let me know they were going.  We quickly figured out a place for the 3 boys to go for the day so Andy, Tenley and I could go down, too.  I'd never have forgiven myself if I'd not seen her just one more time.

We left our house at 7:00 Sunday morning, dropped the boys off at my in-laws and headed out to my parent's house to pick them up.  We left their house just after 8:00 and started heading south.  2 hours later we pulled into Quincy.

We went to my dad's cousin's house first - Jim and his wife Margaret.  They actually live in the house next door to Aunt Ruth's house but unfortunately she now lives in a nursing home.  They still own her home because Jim runs his business out of that house - the business his dad started years and years ago.  They make dentures and crowns for teeth!  Uncle Milt passed away a few years ago.

Anyway, we went in to their house - hugs all around!  Then we sat in their sunroom catching up for a little bit.  Margaret said that Aunt Ruth wanted us to come by before and after lunch so we loaded up in the cars and headed to the nursing home a short way from their house.

I should tell you, my sweet Grandma and I were very very close.  We were kindred spirits and I miss her dearly every day of my life.  I think of her often and know that she came to visit me twice after she passed away.  Because of this I was super anxious to see Great Aunt Ruth.  I was scared to see her 'old', worried about her mental state, I didn't want my last memory of her to be something awful.  It was a nerve wracking drive down thinking about this.

We walked in and went straight to her room.  Jim went in to get his mom and out they came, Aunt Ruth in a wheelchair.  And there she was - Aunt Ruth. Mostly the Aunt Ruth I remembered her to be.  A little quieter, definitely older, but she was still there.  I couldn't help it, I started to cry.  I missed Grandma more in that moment than I had in probably 5 years.

We went to what they called the sunroom and chatted with Jim, Margaret and Aunt Ruth.  Cousin Dan, Ruth's oldest son, joined us, too.  Aunt Ruth was very smitten by Tenley, they had a great first meeting.  I could tell Aunt Ruth was happy to see her. And all I could think about was when Grandma held Aiden for the first time and said "He's such a dolly!"  More tears.

Then I asked Aunt Ruth if she wanted to hold Tenley.  She spoke softly to her, gave her sweet little soft kisses on her head and smiled at how strong and wiggly she was.  It was an amazing moment for me.

After that it was dinner time at the nursing home so Margaret took Aunt Ruth down to the dining hall and we left for lunch.

We ate at Kelly's Restaurant and it was so dang yummy!  Andy and I each picked a different sandwich - Prime Rib Sandwich and Buffalo Chicken Sandwich - and cut them in half so we could each have both.  Holy smokes, that Buffalo Chicken Sandwich was AMAZING!  We're already talking about someday going back for another one.

After lunch we went back to see Aunt Ruth again.  We chatted for another half hour before she started yawning, which was our cue to leave.  But not before I snapped a few pictures first.

It was a really wonderful visit, I'm so glad we were able to go.  I truly believe Grandma came to see me while we were there -- before lunch I told Andy I couldn't see Grandma in Ruth at all.  But after lunch, I was watching her as she was telling us a story and all of a sudden there she was!  Ruth looked just like Grandma!  I saw Grandma in Ruth's eyes, they looked right at me and I swear that was Grandma. I'm so happy I saw Grandma again, even if just for a fleeting moment.  I feel so blessed to have seen Aunt Ruth (and Grandma) one more time.

Here's a picture of my sweet Grandma with Aiden, the 'little dolly', at his baptism.

Gosh he was a little tank! :)  Oh I miss this sweet lady...


  1. This post has me all... just tears. I get this same way when I think about my Grandpa Marc, but then one of my Uncles will treat my boys just like he would have and I see the younger him all over again. This was such a sweet post and a memory you will have and cherish forever.

    p.s. Quincy is only 3 hours from my house.... what? You mean we are only 5 hour apart.

  2. Oh Erin, you had me misty eyed. Your aunt surely loved every moment spent with you and Tenley.
    I always look for little signs from my grandma. It's the best when those little moments happen.
    I'm so glad you spent some time with Ruth.

  3. This is such a sweet post. I definitely see your grandma in your aunt. I love these pictures of her with Tenley. It is so precious. Such a memory to treasure for you and for Tenley.