I have been very lucky to have been very close to my grandma Jody my entire life. When I was born, I was the first grandchild and she was younger than I am now, only 48 years old. She was an enthusiastic grandmother and had my mother and I with her for a week after I was born and when my brother Peter came along 16 months later, she had two cribs in her home at once for us.
My own earliest memories with her are doing something she called ‘having one of those days together,’ where I would go along while she did errands, and she would put me in the front seat of her metallic tourquise Buick Riviera with my own specially made booster seat that matched the silver leather interior. We would pick up her dry cleaning, drop things off at the cobbler, stop at the pharmacy, and so on while I popped protein pills from Jack LaLane she kept in the glove compartment. Later we would have a ladies lunch out, something I never got to do at home and I would order the diet plate which made her laugh and consisted of cottage cheese and half a pear or peach. Sometimes we would go by a children’s store and I would get to choose something special like a pretty umbrella or a frilly slip, things that were an indulgence of sorts, and I would not normally get, but only after we had visited her friends in the nursing home.
This was one thing I learned early from my grandmother- to care about the elderly and be present and spend time with those who are lonely or ill. She was so dedicated to her older and ill friends. She spent many years helping the elderly ladies at her church get there and when they couldn’t go, visiting them. Her church’s spring tea and other events like that became a huge part of her life, especially after my grandfather died and she made sure to include us too. I always knew that the church tea was coming or it’s annual bazaar and it was important to her. I credit my own mother, Suzanne who is no longer here, to helping me be close to my grandmother. I often got the call, even when I was young and busy with my own life saying, “Grandma is hoping you’ll be there,” and “Grandma is looking forward to seeing you.’ So I thank my mother so much for that.
Family photos from the 50s. Note my dad’s flat-top below. he says that was cool?
Kim this is such a lovely tribute to your Dear Grandma! Thanks for letting us get to know her. I cannot believe how stylish she was, her outfits are amazing. She looked happy and engaged in all of these photos as I’m sure she was in life… I think she was on to something. What a wonderful Grandma for you to grow up with and have for so long.
I am sorry you’ve lost her though, even though she had a long life it’s a huge loss. I hope you are keeping well and getting lots of rest, it’s very hard on us to suffer a loss like this. Big hug to you my friend. xxx
Dani, Thanks so much. I know I as so lucky to live close to her and get to know her so well! She was absolutely a happy person n and no doubt that played a part in her ,one life! Thanks so much Dani. I know you are having your own things to deal with now too. xoxo
Kim…I loved reading this tribute to your grandma. Seeing the pictures brought such a huge smile to my face, and reading your thoughts and memories of her is something treasure. What a wonderful life!
Thanks so much Jill. ❤️
My dear Kim, this is a lovely tribute to your Grandma. What a beautiful woman who had a grand life. You were so lucky to spend so much time with her over both of your lives. I too spoke at my Grandma’s celebration and did o.k. until I lost it while talking about how I had my own special cup and saucer at her house for tea (tea was a big deal at her house). It’s the little things, isn’t it. I am getting teary just thinking about it. Just think about how you can have the same closeness with your own future grandchildren someday. After all, you had wonderful role models with your Mom and Grandma! XOXO.
Kelley, wow your grandma sounds so special too. How cute you had your own cup and saucer. People underestimate the role a grandma can have in your life. When I think back, I learned a lot from the way she lived her life you know? I am sure you feel the same. We were lucky! I wish my kids had more time with my own mother, but they did know Jody and they love my dad.Thanks so much Kelley. xo
I love that you had such a special relationship with your grandmother! It was wonderful to see all the photos that you have of your family as well. I am glad that you were able to pay such a wonderful tribute to her.
Rachael, Thanks for helping make this day so lovely with the lunch. She deserved some kind of special day and I hope this was fitting. xo
This was so perfect! As tears run down my face , seeing all these photos remind me of my family ‘ my Mom & Dad , grandparents, I have so many of those photos! The perfect memories… I hope in our old age our kids will all have some sort of memories, it won’t be like the good old days .. The pic’s are the best … You are such a wonderful, thoughtful, beautiful person because of those special ladies in your life.;) I miss you! I wish I lived close by so we could get together! I’m so blessed to have met you in our old Nordstrom Days…. Who ever knew , friendship can last a lifetime.
Your friend <3
Marilyn, Aren’t these photos just the best? I am so lucky to have them. It’s wonderful you do too..and that you also treasure them and your family and the years past. I so wish you were closer too. I always loved when we got together. You are an amazing woman yourself! I admire how you raised your kids. I think of you all the time and still treasure that cute little Christmas book you gave me. Thanks so much for the kind note here Marilyn and I hope to see you soon. You will always be one of my dearest friends!! xo Kim
Marla in the OC says
Kim–My deepest sympathy on the passing of your beloved Grandma Jody. What a lovely tribute to her. Thank you for sharing the old photos–they are so very special. Your grandmother seems like she was a joyful woman whose life was full, rich and well-lived. You are very lucky to have had such a loving and positive role model.
It’s tough to give an emotionally charged tribute without crying. When I knew I was going to toast my Dad at his 85th birthday, I kept rehearsing my speech until I could get through it without choking up. I actually Googled “how to give a speech without crying.” Yes, indeed, there is a TED talk on this very subject. Not that emotion is a bad thing at all but sometimes you just don’t want to be crying in public.
Marla, I still remember what a beautiful birthday you had for your dad! Loved that. I have to look for that TED talk. Yes, I didn’t want to get all messy up there. Was tough. Thanks so much about grandma. xo
I love this so much what a beautiful tribute x
Thanks so much. xx
That was beautiful. What a legacy you have from your strong, beautiful and wise grandmother. I loved her sayings! The photos were beautiful!
Thanks so much! I was so lucky wasn’t I? The photos are a treasure I think too.
What wonderful, wonderful photos. My favorite might be the snapshot of her and her sister shopping. So much life. Thank you for sharing. You’ve communicated her out to the wider world. Although we can’t know her as you did, I too feel I am basking in a rosy glow, but from the stories about her and your clear love and affections.
Lisa, Isn’t that one kind of cool? That was given to us by her nephew who found it among his mom’s things, (her sister Nora.) I love the fashions of that time – the 1930’s. The rosy glow, kind of says it all about how you feel doesn’t it? Thank you Lisa!
Ms. Mary says
So great to have all those photos. Your love for her really comes through in this post. How proud she must’ve been of you. May your memories fill your thoughts and when the sadness fades, may you smile and revel in her life well lived. Hugs to you.
Mary, Thank you. Watching little videos of her and just hearing her voice, I miss her so much! xo
What a beautiful tribute, Kim! All of those wonderful pictures from her past what a gift. All of her sayings and doings are so darn cute and funny! You were so blessed to live so close to her and to enjoy so many events with her and time just relaxing and talking with her. What special times. xoxo April
April, I know wasn’t she cute? I as blesses to have her near and see her weekly. Nothing is as good as spending time with someone like her, and still it never seemed like enough. xo
Hi Kim, you did well getting through most of your eulogy before choking up, I’m sure your grandma would have been proud of you, and so happy with all the work you put into the tribute. You are so lucky to have so many wonderful memories, and to have learned so much from Grandma Jody.
Patricia, I have learned so much and really never though so until I wrote this little post and began thinking about all she has passed on to me. I was so lucky!
I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful “walk down memory lane”. This article got me to think about my grandmother and the lessons I learned from her. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful tribute!
Leslie, Thank you. Grandmas are so special and I fear not as common as they once were in kid’s lives due to older parenting and also families living farther away from where they grew up. I wish every kid would be so lucky because you get things from themyou do not get from your parents.
Lynn McClain says
No “rosy glow” for me today – just swollen eyes from tears streaming down my face. Thank you for the celebration of your special and so fashionable grandmother. I envy her long, successful life. I’m much older than you (74) and I remember many of the years you showcased with the lovely photos by living in them. My maternal grandmother was the love of my life while she lived. When we visited her in Bakersfield, CA, she would be sitting on the porch all day waiting for our family to arrive. On the dining table were heaps of the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten, fresh picked green beans with bacon, homemade honey biscuits and homemade peppermint ice cream – more than required in case friends stopped by. All of us who had these amazing grandmothers to remember are so very lucky.
Lynn, Thanks so much. It was like time travel with those photos right? I also remember many of those times. Your grandmother sounds so wonderful! I am sure you have her qualities in you because of all she did and the impact she had. Yes all of us with these kind of grandmas were so blessed and I love to celebrate them and hear more about the lives they led!
Mani Farhadi says
Kim, these stories are touching and loving. I so enjoyed reading about the times you spent with your grandmother. I too had a special relationship with my grandmother, Mani, whom I’m named after! I was chosen from all 7 grandchildren to speak at her memorial service about 10 years ago. I spoke about very similar things; being organized and color-coordinated; hosting amazing parties; collecting recipes; training us in proper etiquette; and in addition, we played cards together. It gave us a wonderful pastime! Mind you, this all took place in Iran, yet there are so many parallels. Thank you for sharing the beautiful tribute to your lovely grandmother. May she Rest In Peace and may you always remember her.
Mani, Your grandmother was from that same generation it seems. How lovely you were named after her. I love how you also remember all the things she did with you. It all stays with you doesn’t it? We were so lucky!
Dale Janée (@Savvy_Spice) says
I am so sorry for your loss when I saw this on FB and what a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I meet so many people who don’t know or were never close to their grandparents and what you had was such a gift. You were so lucky to have her so long and it was so nice your mom helped you form that bond because that is so important in families.
Your grandmother’s outlook on life was so special to read about and her style was amazing! If only fashion blogs would have existed in the 30’s/40’s/50s. 🙂 I read every word of this because it was so beautifully written and you will have this post forever sharing with your friends, family and people who didn’t know her, but now will be touched and inspired by her. (I’m going to start packing a bag now for the unexpected trip.) Thank you for sharing this and I love her name btw, my sister’s name is Jody. Sorry again to you and your family for the loss of your grandma.
Dale, Thank you! She would be thrilled to know she inspired someone. She does give me a life to aspire to for sure. I keep her in my heart and the way she lived reminds me to enjoy life and pay attention to things, but not sweat the small stuff. I love the packed case ready to go! It’s a great way to live is it not? Adventure awaits and why not do it with a flowered swim cap and matching suit? I love that your sister is Jody! It’s a name that is coming back I have heard. I didn’t have a daughter, but maybe one day a granddaughter could be named Jody, also Suzanne, my mom’s name. Love them both. xo
Such a beautiful tribute to your Grandma Jody, Kim. The pictures of her over the years are amazing …. wonderful to have this insight into her life. She dressed so stylishly … I especially like the picture of her and her sister walking together. Love how she always had a case packed and ready!
Thanks for sharing … this will be so special for your children and grandchildren to read in the future.
Rosemary thanks so much. I loved finding these pics as she did seem to really love clothes and looking nice! Isn’t that a neat photo of them shopping? My favorite too. xo
Kim, Beautiful presentation of Grandma Judy……She will always live on in your precious memories…Thank you for sharing such a delightful woman’s life…
LA CONTESSA says
I LOVED THIS!
How LUCKY YOU were to have her………I especially LOVE YOU ordering the DIET PLATE!
We had a BUICK RIVIERA growing up!
SHE was THE BEST GRANDMOTHER and I think she would have APPROVED of my LUNCHEON I hosted last SATURDAY!
I will strive to have the closet and LIPSTICKS in COLOR CODED ORDER from NOW ON!!!!!!!
BIG HUGS TO YOU!
Contessa, Isn’t that funny? They used to give me grief about the ‘diet’ plate. Perhaps we need to bring it back..LOL! Buick Rivieras were so chic in the 60s were they not? I think you would have approved of her metallic colors of paint and leather. She would have adored you. You also are one of a kind. xoxo
Kim dear, This is such a glowing tribute to your loving, warm and very chic grandma. She set quite an example for you and I see where your style, attitude and thoughtfulness come from. Thank you for sharing the sweet details of how she lived her life and these beautiful images. At 101 she truly lived an amazing life, witnessed generations of change, and enriched those around her in every way. I can imagine you miss her very much and I’m so sorry for your loss. What a gift to have had so many years and truly ‘sparkling’ memories with her. I’m off to organize my lipsticks by shade and I must have my ‘to go’ bag packed at all times for travel surprises.
PS-Your new space looks beautiful!
Heather thank you so much.So kind of you to say that. I do feel so lucky to have had her so long. In writing this little memory it made me want to go back and do the same- be ready for adventure, organize by color, -generally live life with a little more joy you know? Hoping all is well. Hugs, Kim
I just finished reading all about your Grandma Jody. What an exceptional human being. Your Grandma left lasting footprints on your heart. What incredible memories
you will have for a life time. I am sure she was very influential on your life. I really like that she lived each day to the fullest. I love seeing the photographs and all the
tributes to your Grandma. What along life she was blessed to have. I too had an exceptional Grandma that I thought the world of and spent time with. I think of her
so often, nothing takes the place of a Grandma, they love on you in a different way than your mother and father do.
Katherine thank you! I know I was so fortunate to have her and be close to her. It was a lifelong gift I am still appreciating. I’m glad others enjoy the stories too. How wonderful you had a special grandma also. You are so right they love you in a special way and make you feel adored. xo