Chapter 3

This week’s post is going to be a little different, I am going to let somebody else do the writing, my proofreader and wife, Shannon.

Last week we lost Shannon’s Grandmother who was 98, still lived on her own, and was feisty to the end. I was asked to be a pallbearer, her Uncle Dale read about family memories of Grandma and Shannon spoke on behalf of the “next generation.” By the way, when I speak of this woman’s legacy, she has over 100 Grandchildren/Great-Grandchildren, etc. What I want to focus on here, is the literal cry my wife makes here for her family to not break apart, to stay together so that she can literally know them because of how much she cares for this group and how she didn’t want this to change just because Grandma had ‘gone Home.’

It was heartfelt, it was inspiring and it was just what I needed to hear.

Way to go Shannon, you did a fantastic job!

Here, you tell me how she did:


Thank you all for coming, despite the snowstorm that won’t go away. I felt lead to write this within hours of Grandma’s passing last week. I have updated a few things after reading her obituary and being reminded about Miss New Centerville – how could I forget that? Here we go!

Chapter 1

We lost a very important person recently and she left behind quite a legacy. Someone who has lived through a century of history, wars, and peace, all while making tough decisions that involved those around her being the Matriarchal figure to many that, with her presence alone, was the diplomatic adhesive that kept fractured relationships on the mend. While this might sound like a reference to the Queen of England, it most definitely is for our Queen … Miss New Centerville – Friend, Wife, Sister, Aunty, Mother, and Grandmother of many, Marlys. She would probably punch me in the arm for saying Queen but then ask for her crown!

Our family hasn’t known a life without her – like a certain generation who didn’t know the Packers had more than one quarterback … whose name shall not be mentioned. She has been a presence well, since forever. She became a Mother and Grandmother at what now seems like a young age. The next generation is on deck – the new Matriarchs and Patriarchs of this Family, with their own growing family’s. My prayer for this next generation, my Aunts & Uncles, my Mother, and the generation to follow, me and my Cousins, is that we give grace to one another during this process of mourning.

The truth is, none of us know how to deal with burying a parent or heaven forbid a child. Most of us even get 2-4 chances at it and it’s different from one parent to the next. The ‘rule book’ for how to handle death is written in a foreign language and even though I think I’m practiced at it, the language changes for the next parent. Grief is different for each child … try 9 different languages in this family. There are nine kids trying to speak their own language to make first-and-last-time decisions for one of the most important people in their life, their Mother. But here’s the thing, this Lady was well taken care of for 98 years. I bet when asked if Gram had one complaint at all it was, “why am I still here?” Nine kids, their spouses and a family well on its way to 100 grandkids, managed to give this Lady a life she had no complaints for, all we need to do is honor her final wishes.

So, my plea and my prayer for my family from here going forward is, material things are just filler – the memories are priceless, we apologize, we forgive each other and we forgive ourselves for things we ‘could-a, should-a, would-a did,’ and we try and understand each other’s language and while it may not be the same as ours, we respect and are thankful for one another. There isn’t anything like the cool dynamics we have going on in this huge family! Thank God we are all different and yet we all have this one common embroidery thread, Marlys, Mom, Grandma.

Please hang with me, I’m almost done!

Chapter 2

Most of these will probably ring true with you and there will be hundreds more but, some of my memories of Gram are:

– fun but stern; 

– forgiving and tolerant – the quickest way to wipe that pretty smile off your Grandma’s face is to mow over her peony bush. Now, I’m no gardener but I do think she forgave me when the next year it came back more full than it previously was … I’m gonna call that a win;

– caregiver and teacher – I wish I would’ve paid better attention when she was getting into cake decorating; quiet and spunky – my Stepson Chip had many Grandparents growing up and each had a nickname so he knew whose house he was going to. Sketch happened to see a picture of Grandma with her leg kicked up against the house – it happens to be the one in the obituary – and he started calling her “Legs” and that turned into a nickname of, you guessed it, Grandma Legs. I’m sure it sounded strange to some but we had the inside scoop!

– social and independent;

– a hard worker and generous;

– people producer – just look around at how many people Grandma & Grandpa Hudson were the beginning of – yet a widow of 36 years;

– athletic and competitive – if you ever picked berries, took a walk, played catch or any game with her, you know what I’m talking about. And I’m not kidding about the punch in the arm – if you won a game and she thought you cheated, pow!;

– she was pretty but humble;

– the color green was not in Gram’s vocabulary, unless it had a President on the front of it;

– she was short but had a big heart

– one of my favorite sayings of hers is: “It ain’t either!” … usually said in huge disagreement with what was happening while playing a game. Another famous one at Christmas: “You kids get outside and play!” – which meant hitting Uncle Hank’s hill with sleds and seeing who could get the sled to go airborne and across the road … a word of caution for the pall bearers – do not let go of Gram’s casket at the cemetery … it’ll be Hank’s hill all over again!

– loved puzzles, game shows, watching golf and other sports and of course, Friday night Bingo at the Legion;

– a traveler but car accident prone – Fun Fact: Grandma was my driving instructor with her blue Chevy Citation – my Stepdad Jerry’s car was a stick shift and had “0” patience, neither did Jerry. I passed my driving test with that blue hatchback and I’d say I’ve done pretty well for the 33 years I’ve been driving;

– I’m so thankful Gram was a believer in Jesus and encouraged us to go to Sunday School and Church. It’s hard to believe how much history our family has with this little church – marriages, baptisms, confirmations, anniversaries, birthday parties and funerals. I’d like to do one of those reenactment photos of my baptism but I don’t think Aunt Kaz or Uncle Les could hold me in their arms for very long anymore!

– lastly, she was gracious to be the hostess for dozens of her family members with a one-bathroom house but content to stay in the kitchen doing dishes, just happy all of her people were under one roof, as I’m sure she is right now.

Save me a Yahtzee Score Sheet Grandma!

Love to you all!”


I learned a lot from my wife this weekend and then I got a chance to watch her Turn It Around for a church full of people!

Go win your day!!

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