Daniels dear Grandma Wheeler passed away this morning, and since this blog is our little family record/journal, I wanted to write down a few of my memories of this dear lady. Sadly I dont have any recent pictures of us with her, but these ones are kind of dear to my heart.
When Daniel and I had our brief 2 months of dating before we got engaged, one thing that I LOVED about Daniel was how cute he was with his grandma. He spoke so highly of her and when I met her for the first time the interaction between them was so sweet and genuine. Daniel cared so deeply, and was right there to take care of any need he could foresee. They would crack jokes all the time, and one that we heard quite frequently was how she wasnt ready to kick the bucket quite yet. She had such a cute sense of humor and always had us laughing.
After we were married we would go visit her a couple times each month. Daniel has a lot of relatives in the Mesa area, and it was kind of a tradition to go to grandmas on Sunday evenings. We did that a few times, and while it was fun for Daniel to see his cousins, he didnt get that one on one time with his grandma, so we tried to visit during the week when he could really visit with her. She was always trying to feed us. ALWAYS. Even right after finishing up a meal. Her freezer was ALWAYS stocked with schwanns ice cream treats, and she wouldnt let us leave until we had both finished off a bar or 2. After we had kids she, again, was ALWAYS trying to feed them. If our baby was fussy- she wanted someone to give that baby some food! While I dont think i found it funny then, I think back now and just laugh.
After we had Tyler, grandma was always calling Tyler "Daniel." When Daniel would answer "what?" or "yes?"she would give him a funny look and then laugh. It cracked me up.
When Daniel and I got married, we being the poor newlyweds that we were, were using Daniels futon mattress as our bed. It's a full size. Now I dont use a lot of bed space. But Daniel being the extremely tall guy that he is was dangling off at all ends. Anyway 2 weeks after we were married we went over to visit, and we were kinda laughing at our sleeping arrangements. Before we left she handed Daniel a few hundred bucks to "help (us) kids out." She had already given us several wedding gifts, but her generosity knew no bounds.
A few weeks later we had her over for dinner. Now again- being the poor newlyweds, we didnt have a kitchen table. We were using the box that our TV came in. (I think thats what we used our wedding monies on- gotta love our priorities) We had a couple of missed matched chairs and a barstool, and it was really quite the humble looking site, so Daniel apologized. She was quick to complimented us on our creativity. I loved her so much for her loveliness that night. She praised my cooking, and shared in our little newlywed bliss and plans. She was so loving and never once was critical or judgemental or made us feel uncomfortable with the fact we were eating on a box, and had no furniture to our name.
Grandma Wheeler always asked me about my family. I think she sensed that I hated being so far away from them. I loved that she took that interest and tried to ease some of the homesickness I felt.
Daniels family is VERY affectionate. And i think it stems from his grandma. In my family we hug. So when I first met grandma Wheeler I went to give her a hug, and she pulled me in for a kiss...ON THE LIPS!!! I was STUNNED! Who kisses people on the lips, unless the person is your spouse? And she did it AGAIN when I went to give her a hug goodbye. After we got married and would go to visit- that was always her greeting and farewell. A kiss ON THE LIPS. And while I wasnt comfortable with that and thought it was so weird that she does with EVERYONE and so in turn you were swapping spit with anyone who happened to also be at her house at the same time, there was NO WAY OUT! I tried to go in for a kiss on the cheek cuz that seemed less intrusive even though that was a bit awkward for me too, but NOPE- grandma would grab your chin or shoulders or whatever and pull your face right into hers. I dont kiss my own parents. And I dont even kiss my own babies on their lips-(partly cuz my babies spit up and if you went to kiss them on the mouth- chances are pretty high for getting a mouth full of spit up- also cuz its just WEIRD. Kiss their foreheads, their cheeks, their hands and feet, but lips? the only person that I think is ok to do that to is Daniel.) So like I said- affectionate family. Thinking about that cracks me up. Sweet Grandma Wheeler. Just trying to share the love I guess.
The last time we saw Grandma Wheeler was at Daniels cousin wedding back in December. She had us busting up in the sealing room in the temple while we were waiting for the bride and groom to come in. But of course you cant really laugh out loud in the temple, so we were shaking from holding it in. She would just blurt out what was on her mind and didnt bother with with the whispering business. One of Daniels cousins was sitting by her and tried reassuring her that they would be in soon, but she certainly let us know that it was taking all day.
Since grandmas health has been declining for a while, her passing wasnt a surprise, and since she has lived a very full life, we are happy that she is now reunited with her husband and those loved ones that have proceeded her in passing on. But we will certainly miss her and her feisty, yet so loving personality. She was certainly remarkable.