Coffee with Evelyn

My grandma Knoedler died when I was eighteen years old, a senior in high school who thought she knew what life was all about. My grandma had cancer, and she had been ill for quite some time. She moved in with us so my mom could care for her.

Her name was Evelyn Laskey Knoedler, and she was a registered nurse in an era when most women did not work outside of the home. She was a natural caregiver, and loved taking care of the people in her life until it was time for us to take care of her. She was feisty, a child of Irish immigrants who seemed to have life all figured out, and boy did she love the Lord.

I was too young then to truly know what I was losing when she died. She was my grandma and to me she was my grandma who loved hot cocoa and sledding, playing tennis and watching the sunset on the bluff.

I know I can’t go back in time, but I would love to sit down with Evelyn today and enjoy a cup of coffee together. To have the chance for my forty-three year old self to sit down and talk with my grandma and see what she thinks of me today. I would also love the chance to ask her some questions about her life and her dreams, and who she became beyond the woman I called grandma.

I would love for Evelyn to know that I came to know the Lord as my Savior, too, and that I married the man of my dreams and am more blessed than I could have ever deserved. I would love for her to meet my children, and see that her legacy lives on in Hannah’s determination, Sydney’s compassion,
Colin’s joy and Riley’s tenderness. Would she see some of her reflection in their lives, some of her hope in their eyes? I hope so.

I would love for Evelyn to meet my husband, Michael. I can only imagine their conversation, and know that he would truly enjoy talking to her about this, that or anything at all. She was an avid Browns fan, and Mike is a Steelers fan. That would be an interesting conversation. I can picture them in my mind’s eye sharing sports, funny stories and laughing out loud with a sparkle in their eyes.

I can only imagine what she would think about me living on a beef cattle farm, a destiny not even I could have predicted. I would want her to see my beautiful home, full of clutter, children and love, a very lived-in and cozy place. I can picture her smiling as she watches the cattle in our pasture meander back and forth, and I can feel her sadness as she tells me it’s about time for her to leave….again.

And as we say our goodbyes, I can almost feel her arms around me as the lump in my throat grows and the tears begin to fall. How can I let her go again? The last time we said goodbye, I was only eighteen, and I thought I knew what life was all about. Today, at forty-three, I have more questions than answers.

I would love to have coffee with Evelyn and ask her a million things. I would for her to meet my forty-three year old self, and I hope she might see a reflection of herself in who I have become.

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Posted by Trish Berg 7:19 AM  

1 Comment:

  1. Vanessa said...
    And Evelyn would be so, so proud of her granddaughter, who has made people laugh and cry and feel better about themselves by sharing about her own life openly, in a loving, non-judgmental way.

    Thank you for sharing your memories of Evelyn. I smiled - and cried - as I read this. I would like to meet Evelyn, too. One day you'll see her again and you'll be able to have those conversations, Trish.

    Reading this makes me think of my own grandparents. I also wish I could visit with them, just once more. I'd appreciate them so much more now that I'm older. Isn't that the way it is, though? We appreciate people so much more when we no longer have them. I think that's a reminder for us to cherish each day and the people in our lives just a bit more.

    You are such a blessing, Trish. Thank you for sharing what's on your heart.

    ~Vanessa

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