kiele's dad's grandma sadly passed away last week at age 92. great-grammy was such an amazing, amazing woman -- one of the kindest people i have ever met. but i don't think i could ever share more beautifully about great-grammy as kiele did in this letter (below), a letter that was to be read at great-grammy's service this past weekend. Dear Great Grammy,

Time goes by without you realizing it until there are no more seconds left and the clock stops ticking. Many years have passed by and I’ve always cherished those few special moments when we could be together. Other times I let the days slip off my fingers just glad you're there, but not paying too much attention. I remember when you would come from your house and we’d walk down the road heading towards big rock. You asking me about school and would find nice little raspberries for the two of us to munch on. I was happy then and I’m still glad to have the memory. Even when I left the camps in Maine and was at my house we still maintained a little connection throughout the years. You would write me letters that I struggled to read, but still figured out what you meant. I’d write you back disappointed my handwriting couldn’t match yours and put your letters in a special place. The letters are still here -- old, wrinkled from time, and a treasure to keep always. When Great Grampy died, I felt for you and while shedding tears I began making a little story about how happy he was and about his life. I drew pictures of the events in a my little kitty notebook, waiting happily to send it to you as a birthday present. Not getting the ending finished, I never sent it. Something I will always regret. Those times from when I was little, to last year sculpting a butterfly for your birthday, and just about to write a letter to you before you passed away are some things I’m glad I was able to do for you. I really hope you had a great life. I think you did because when Brooke and I got persuaded by Dad to do an interview about your life, you sounded content about what happened. Even when you were little at a picnic with your family at a lake and swimming to the middle of the lake unconisously before realizing what was going on. Drowning, your dad rescued you and since then you’ve had a fear of water. To driving into Canada with your dad and sibilings to a little store to purchase root beer and enjoy the summer evenings. Explaining these, you were happy and satisfied with the results. You will remain in my heart and memory forever. Someone like you is not meant to be forgotten and blown away with the whispers of the wind. No, you shall stay with me...a spirit watching over all of us. Thank you for the adventures and sharing the story of your life with us. The words in your story will never be forgotten, from the beginning word to the ending chapter.

I love you and will miss you always Great Grammy.

Love you, Kiele

kiele also wrote this poem, in remembering great-grammy...

One day I did happen to see A trail of red ribbon like the sea Astonished, I stepped towards it The world became dark and moonlit I stared up into the light A voice of mind began a fight Should I stay? Should I run? Wide-eyed, I turned ashen With a panic and dropped down To watch myself begin to drown The ashes floated away in the breeze And soon I felt at ease When the kind angel appeared And up to Heaven I was steered One day I did happen to see A trail of red ribbon that set me free

as i re-read what kiele wrote, tears well.  so proud of kiele, in writing such a heartfelt, poignant letter.  remembering what an incredible woman great-grammy was.  hoping that i can grow old as beautifully and gracefully as she did and that i, too, can pass on such wonderful memories to my great grandchildren.

note: i asked both kiele and mike if it was okay for me to share this photo and kiele's writings, before posting today.