Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Grandma Burney

When I think about the two people that I miss most on this Earth... this is the image that instantly comes to mind. They were so happy in this picture, the scenery is gorgeous, and I picture them in a place like this, looking down on me.

I've wanted to blog about my grandmas for a while, but for whatever reason, I never got around to it. Part of the reason is because it's hard to see pictures and it dredges up memories that remind me of how very much I miss them. I was raised to love, respect, and care for my grandparents. My mom and dad always said, "Grandparents are special people and should always be treated as such."

My childhood is filled with wonderful memories of spending special time with my grandparents. for a while, the time was separate when my Grandma Burney (my mom's mom) and Grandma and Grandpa Ghrist (my dad's parents) lived separately. I'm unclear if it was before he passed or after, but around 1992 (I think), my Grandma Burney moved into my Grandma Ghrist's house (upstairs) and thus, they became "the grandmas."

This blog is going to be devoted to my Grandma Burney.  She was born Catherine Theresa King but everyone called her Kay.
My Grandma Burney (baby) with her mom, her grandma and her great-grandma

Grandma Burney as a wee girl

She had two sisters (Fran and Helen) and two brothers that were twins (Bill and Tom). My mom and dad picked my Great Aunt Fran to be my God-Mother and her husband Herb was my God-Father. Both have passed. In fact, I believe all of my Great-Aunts and Uncles are passed away. 
Helen, their mother, Grandma Burney, and Fran

Grandma Burney and her mother

Grandma Burney (L), one of the brothers, Helen, the other brother, and Fran

At a family reunion

My Aunt Fran, cousin Brandon, Aunt Margie (my mom's sister) and Uncle Herb

Grandma, Uncle Herb, and Aunt Helen

Grandma and Uncle Herb being silly

Grandma and her sisters as teens

Another picture from back in the day

Grandma's Grandparents (I believe)

Grandma and her sisters

Grandma and Aunt Fran

Fran, Helen and Grandma @ Aunt Fran's cabin

Grandma and her sister Helen

Grandma and her cousins and siblings
My Grandma had seven children: Karen, Tom, Cathy (my mom), Helen, Mary (twins), Bill, and Margie. I know my Aunt Karen was the oldest, then Uncle Tom, and my mom... but as for the rest of my aunts and my Uncle Bill, I'm not 100% on if I'm right about the line-up.
My grandma had TB and was in the hospital for a while

Grandma, Aunt Margie, Uncle Bill, my mom, and Roy Burney

Roy, Aunt Margie, Grandma Burney, her mom, my mom, and my Uncle Bill
Grandma and Roy

My Grandma's past is one full of mystery and some not-so-pretty stories. I'm not going to go into them as they don't matter to me... the relationship I had with her as my grandparent is the only one that matters to me. 
My Grandma raised my mom, Uncle Bill and Aunt Margie together in the same home. My mom found my Aunt Mary and Aunt Helen (twins), and then also found my Aunt Karen and Uncle Tom.

My mom, Aunt Mary, Grandma, Aunt Helen, Uncle Bill and Aunt Margie in front

Aunt Margie, Aunt Helen, Uncle Tom, Grandma, Aunt Karen, my mom, and Aunt Mary

Aunt Helen, Grandma, and my mom

Grandma, Aunt Karen, and Aunt Helen

Aunt Helen, my mom, Grandma Burney, Aunt Mary, and Aunt Margie

My mom, Grandma Burney, Aunt Mary (bottom), Aunt Margie, and Aunt Helen

My dad, Aunt Jamie (Uncle Tom's wife), Uncle Ron (Aunt Karen's husband) and my Grandma

All of us at my parent's house when Uncle Bill (yellow) and Aunt Marcia (to the right of him) were in town from Tuscon, AZ

Aunt Mary, Aunt Margie, Grandma, Aunt Helen and Uncle Herb (top)

Grandma and Uncle Bill  (He passed away this year)

My Aunt Karen and her family lived in Oregon, OH. I was 10 when I met my Aunt Karen and her family. It was like a whole new family was added to our family and it was wonderful!! My Aunt Karen passed away several years ago from cancer, but she was one of a kind. Here's a picture of her oldest son Ronnie, her, my Grandma Burney, and Christopher (the baby-- he's now 22 or 23).

Aunt Karen and Grandma

Leeroy (Aunt Karen's son) and Grandma

Grandma and Uncle Ron (Aunt Karen's husband)

Tracey, Kevin, Grandma and Leeroy

Aunt Karen, Uncle Ron, baby Christopher, and Grandma Burney

Taken in the 1950s

Brandon, Corey, and Grandma Burney

Grandma and Aunt Margie

Derek and Grandma

Derek and Grandma

Uncle Tom and Grandma

Uncle Tom's family with Grandma

My cousins and I with Grandma Burney

Grandma and some of her grandchildren

So... like I said above, I grew up very close to all of my grandparents. My mom would take us to their homes and we'd have meals with them, and would spend the night at their houses. When my grandmas moved in together, it was awesome because we got to see them both at the same time. They were so good for each other and became the very best of friends.
On their trip to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks with my parents

My mom would go shopping and take us kids with her, and usually Grandma Burney would come too. I'm sure this wasn't an all the time kinda thing, but it is a frequent memory of mine. One of the places that we almost always went... because my Grandma Burney LOVED it... was:

It comes as absolutely no surprise that I have an addiction to Taco Bell that's unlike anything else. Part of why I love it so much is because it really does bring back such happy memories for me. My mom would take us to Taco Bell with Grandma Burney and it was always fun. I can remember being at my Aunt Margie's one time... and something was going on with the adults and us kids were told to go for a walk with Grandma. She walked us around the block... and to Taco Bell. We all had a taco and then walked back to my Aunt Margie's house.

When I was older, I'd call my Grandma's to see how they were doing, and I'd ask them if I could bring them lunch. I'd say I was going to Taco Bell and 
My Grandma Burney would say, "Just bring me a..."
I have a special place in my heart for hard tacos... and it's because they were my Grandma Burney's favorite. Just looking at this picture has me in tears because I can hear her in my head asking for a taco.



Me and Grandma Burney at my starter wedding shower

Us kids with Grandma Burney (I'm on the bottom left)

Dave's prom

With Grandma Burney

Aunt Fran, Grandma and then Scott and Me

When I got married the first time, I wanted my Grandmas to know how very special they were to me. I got them both tiaras and made them wear them (they didn't want to) and wanted to have a special place for them to sit at my reception. They were the most highest guests of honor and I wanted them to feel every bit as special as I did on my special day.
They wore the tiaras and felt silly doing so, but I think they knew how much it meat for them to be there with me. I get sad when I think they they never got to meet Gus... or even Lily or Charlotte, but I do know they're watching over me (and my brothers).

One of the last pictures of my Grandma Burney

THE last picture taken of her... we went to the nursing home to celebrate her 90th birthday. She was happy to see so many of us there, and while she wasn't eating much other stuff, she always had a sweet tooth and could find it in her to eat something sweet.

After she passed, my Grandma Ghrist was devastated. Some family things happened and basically, my Grandma Burney had to move from my Grandma Ghrist's into a nursing home, because my Aunt (dad's sister) pressured my Grandma. It was ugly. My Grandma Ghrist didn't want her to leave, but it happened, and so she was without a roommate. It was a very sad time for everyone.

When my Grandma Burney passed, my Grandma Ghrist was so very very sad. She passed away three short months after my Grandma Burney did. To lose both of them in a three-month period was horrific.

While my Grandma Burney was in the nursing home, my mom went daily to see her. Scott was there daily, and Steve and I went each week. Her passing was so difficult for my family and I can honestly say that I'm still not over her passing. I'm not over either one of them. I still cry when I think about them, and my heart yearns to see them again and hear their voices.

She passed away on All Saints Day (November 1). She had gone to the hospital on Halloween... and while she wasn't feeling well, she surly enjoyed all the people-watching on Halloween. She always loved to people-watch. I wish I had been there when she passed, but I was at work, Scott called me and said I needed to get to the hospital as quickly as I could, and by the time I got there, she had already passed.

We remember her with laughter, fun stories, and wonderful, cherished memories. I have so many memories of great times with her, and they mean the world to me. We sometimes joke and call Gus "Burney" when he starts people-watching, because he reminds me of how my Grandma Burney would be. She'd get totally fixated and engrossed in other people and have the most God-awful look on her face... my mom would always say, "MOTHER!!" to get her to snap out of it. The funny thing... my mom now does this!!! :)

I hope that Gus is able to develop the kind of relationship with my parents, Steve's dad and Sue Ann, and his own biological grandparents, like I had with my grandparents. And I hope it'll be a while before I see her again, so until I see her, I'll just smile and remember her when I pass a Taco Bell or each time I eat a taco.



Cathy Ghrist said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Such a great tribute to your Grandma Burney. some facts are just a bit off but we can fix them. I love you Cathy.

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