Thursday, December 30, 2010

Grandma Mary

Mary McNair
1920 - 2010
(I took this photo at her 90th birthday party in November.)

You may remember when, back in June, I wrote about my grandma going into hospice. Well, yesterday morning at about 6:30 she passed quietly in her sleep. And while I my logical side knows it's what she's wished for each and every day for the past seven months, I'm still deeply saddened by her death. I'm trying hard to be strong - for my little ones; I must remember they've lost a grandma, too.

That was the hardest part about it - telling my own children. My daughter began to cry immediately. "Grandma can't die," she got out between sniffles, "I love her." It took longer to sink into my son; he didn't start crying for a minute or two, but then sobbed, and I mean sobbed, for 45 minutes. Then the questions began:

"How did she die?"

"Did she what to be cremated?"

"Where is she right now?"

"Where will they put her?"

These all stem from the loss of our good friend last winter. Somehow I know that losing Karen helped prepare them for this loss, not that you can really be prepared to lose someone you love. But they, my son (who is six) at least, understands that dying means that person is gone and we'll not see them again. The book When Dinosaurs Die has been a big help as well. If you have children and you don't own this book, you should get it.

So we've been talking a lot about keeping Grandma Mary alive in our hearts and remembering all the special things about her:

How she let them ride on her scooter and how they loved to race up and down the hallway where she lived. How she always seemed to have a sweet treat for them when they visited, and most importantly, how her face lit up when they walked into her room. They brought great joy into her life and she loved them so very much.

I am trying to remember that despite how much my heart aches today, my children and I are the luckiest of all Mary's grandchildren. Of her 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, (who are spread out over six states and three continents,) my children and I were the only ones who got to see her on a regular basis. We were a part of her life and she a part of ours and the memories we have make the tears bearable.

Good-bye Grandma Mary. We love you. And while I know you were a staunch atheist and did not believe in an afterlife of any kind, if you happen to discover that you were incorrect I hope you have a comfortable chair, a very sharp pencil, and an unending supply of crossword puzzles from the New York Times...

Friday, December 24, 2010


Some days I just have to pinch myself.
How lucky I am to live on Mackinac.

I hope all your holiday wishes
come true this year...

Monday, December 20, 2010

He Sees You When You're Sleeping

As I was culling the catalogue pile the other day, I came across these; two catalogues in which virtually every item had been circled. When I asked my son about it he told me, "It's so Santa will know what to bring me."

Apparently he thinks he's been really really good this year...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Handed Down

I love hand-me-downs. Love them; and this one has been quite popular lately. My cousin sent this beautiful doll house home with us last summer (along with a giant tub of trains.) The trains were an immediate hit, but the doll house has languished in my daughter's closet. She was so completely uninterested in it that I actually considered returning it.

I'm not sure exactly what happened, but something changed. Over the past two weeks or so the doll house has been incredibly popular - with both of the kids. Which totally makes me smile. I love toys like this; the ones that just beg the kids to use their imaginations; one minute it is a hamster habitat, the next it is home to a horse family. I wonder what they'll think of next?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thank You

Dearest Santa,
Thank you,

thank you,

thank you!
Thanks to all this wonderful snow, Mackinac
is sure to have a white Christmas this year.



Friday, December 10, 2010

An Open Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

Please send Mackinac Island some snow. I'm certain you can imagine just how cold it is riding a bicycle in nine degrees weather. Not to mention the challenge of keeping a bicycle upright on icy patches. I tried asking Mother Nature to drop a few inches, but as of yet she has been unwilling to cooperate. I thought dressing up as Frosty the Snowman for the Boyne City Santa parade this year might help, and it did; the Boyne / Petoskey area got quite a bit. Unfortunately, Mackinac didn't get more than a dusting. Santa, anything you could do to get some snow to Mackinac Island would be much appreciated.