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the longest day

I’ve been racing down long stretches of highway, speeding through dark tunnels lit with colored spots of light zipping past, hurtling skyward as if launching into the heavens – all the while my focus was completely unfocused on the empty space straight ahead.

There was a 1 am phone call from my mother, text messages, more calls, and finally a text from my dear aunt: she’s gone. That cold, numbness ran through my veins while my face flushed hot and wet from tears and emotion. I sobbed, wailed into Jeremy’s arms – sadness overcoming the rational side that knew I needed to book the first flight out, a rental car, hotel and get there as soon as I could. It felt familiar. It felt awful. The same despair I felt when I learned my sister had died unexpectedly. Unexpected. This was unexpected and yet it wasn’t. Grandma was to turn 90 years old this October and while I knew she could not live forever, somewhere in my heart I deeply wanted to believe that she would. It’s like that thing you wish so hard for when you’re a little girl who looks to her grandma and believes that reaching up to take hold of her hand will make everything bad in the world disappear. I am not a wishful girl. But I did wish it.

Jeremy arranged all of my travel logistics (he had to remain with Kaweah because we couldn’t get anyone to take her on such short notice at 3 am) while I staggered around dumbstruck and emotionally drained, packing my bag in the cold darkness of the house. My hands didn’t obey my brain and my arms were heavy and exhausted. I was packing for an undefined trip. I had a one-way ticket. I didn’t know when the services would be held. My head throbbed from all of the tears and my eyes burned, stung. Calls to the East Coast and text messages to the West Coast to coordinate travel with loved ones. Grandma meant the world to me. She meant the world to a lot of people including my mom – her first-born. Loss like this hurts from all directions. It wasn’t just my sadness. I knew my mother and aunts were devastated. If you’ve ever loved someone, you know how much it destroys you to see their heart broken. Everyone loved my grandma. She totally kicked ass.

When all was packed and ready, there was a little time before I had to leave for my flight. Jeremy tried to catch some sleep as he insisted on driving me to the airport, but I couldn’t sleep. I was sapped of energy and yet a nervous trembling plagued my body. It’s like the trembling you get in your legs when you’re stuck on a climb and you’ve been looking for the next placement for too long. I had two hours to gather photos of Grandma for her services. She was so pragmatic that she would occasionally tell me, “Take a nice portrait of me… you know, so we’ll have a good one for my funeral.”

my grandma

I was the zombie sitting in the waiting area near the gate at Denver International Airport. I was the girl in the aisle seat who alternately wiped tears from her eyes and chatted with her neighbors about Yosemite Valley. I was the red car that followed the familiar path from airport to Grandma’s place. My aunt opened the door. Mom had asked me to take care of my aunt (we are very close) because she’s the youngest of the sisters and had to deal with Grandma’s sudden passing alone. She looked tired and small. We hugged, cried, talked, and then set to work on the task of clearing out Grandma’s belongings.

She saved a lot of things in tidy little stacks or containers. She kept items nearly new by zipping them up in plastic. If you made or gave her something she really liked, she would never use it and probably wrap it up and stow it away someplace safe. She did that with some flower washcloths I knitted for her about nine years ago.

And Grandma was always learning. Up to the moment she passed away, her mind was sharp as a tack. She played Sudoku puzzles daily, took English classes, and constantly learned new words – jotting them down on scrap pieces of paper that were neatly arranged and stored around the apartment.

It was so her. Grandma was clever, resourceful, curious, happy, and always problem solving. Modest, kind, and full of wisdom. Such a calming presence in our lives. We sorted donations from recycling from things the family might treasure. We laughed and delighted in Grandma’s ingenious storage methods, the clippings and notes she posted for her own reference (e.g. a chart of fruit nutritional values!), her affinity for little trinkets and anything miniature. No wonder I like little foods – I got it from my grandma.

my aunt (left) and family friend (right) open the pantry closet

Grandma was also a fan of bright colors, something else I probably got from her. The trinkets or little origami she collected/made were always vibrant and engaging colors. So many of the daily items around her apartment had been modified by someone with an engineer’s intuition. I told you she was smart and resourceful. She altered and redesigned everything from handbags to clothing to electronics to furniture to kitchen appliances.

I miss her. I still walk into the apartment expecting to see my tiny grandma just around the corner, her eyes sparkling and feet shuffling as she reaches up to hug me. Sifting through the everyday pieces of her life, I was able to paint an endearing portrait of a woman I have admired and loved from my earliest memories. And instead of the sorrow and shock from 24 hours ago, I’m feeling at peace as if I had spent the day with Grandma.

me and grandma in 2005

128 nibbles at “the longest day”

  1. Barbara says:

    Thinking of you Jen. Wish I could be there to give you a real hug. xoxo

  2. Yvonne says:

    What a beautiful classy lady! Wishing you and your family strength!

  3. Lisa is Bossy says:

    Beautiful, Jen. The photo of her slippers and patio reached out and touched my heart.
    I’ve been thinking about you all day. Again, lemme know if there’s anything you need.

  4. Debbie says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this Jen. My grandma was my best friend who taught me unconditional love. I remember reading about your grandma through the years I have been reading your blog and always thought she was just adorable. That is the word I think of when I look at her picture. You are SOOOO lucky to have had her as long as you did. God bless you and your family….

  5. amy says:

    I’m so sorry. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  6. Rachel says:

    Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time – how blessed you (all) were to have her around for a very long time.

  7. Kristin says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve loved reading about your grandma, & I empathize. My grandma is 92, & I know that deep down inside I really do think she’s immortal. I’m glad that you have such a close knit family to help you through this difficult time.

  8. Phoo-d says:

    Losing a grandma just plain sucks. Sending hugs and love to you and your whole family. Thank you for sharing all the beautiful things that made her special. xoxo

  9. kathy says:

    Your Grandma is so very cute. The way you describe her is the way that she looks. I am sure she is smiling at you right now, proud of you and who you have become. You are very fortunate to have such strong and kind women in your life.

  10. Perfecting Pru says:

    Sending you and your family my love at this sad time.


  11. Amy P. says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. My grandmother passed away last year and I can remember wandering around in a daze, not really realizing the loss. My heart goes out to you.

  12. Q+B says:

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  13. Keeley says:

    Sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute to your grandma.

  14. Michelle says:

    My heart goes out to you. Take your time. Slowly but surely, just like in climbing, never stop moving forward.

  15. Aran says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss ken. I love that photo of you together. Beautiful woman indeed. Something about losing our grandmothers that sets our lives. Big hugs. xx

  16. Amanda says:

    I feel as if I knew your grandma. A beautiful tribute to her. What an awesome lady! My grandma was my best friend and supporter and inspiration to everyone. We honor them by living their legacy.
    Peace and love.

  17. Julie W says:

    My condolences, and thanks for sharing this story. It brought back memories of my own grandma, who was also tiny, curious, resourceful, and loved to save things in plastic. We should all live so well to leave so much love behind.

  18. Amy says:

    Thinking of you Jen…what beautiful memories of your grandma. She sounds like a beautiful, remarkable soul. My heart goes out to you and your family. xxoo

  19. Leeann says:

    Beautiful! She is smiling done on you knowing that not only did you take some beautiful pictures of her, your words captured who she is perfectly. Enjoy being with your family and recording everyone’s memories. You are the family historian! That’s something special and important!

  20. Nate @ House of Annie says:

    Jen, reading this makes me think of my grandma, who just passed away early last month at age 92. She and yours seem very much the same: resourceful, kind, happy, and sharp minded right up to the end.

    Glad that you are able to be there for her funeral. I could not attend my grandma’s funeral because we pretty much just came back FROM Hawaii the month prior. At least we got to see her alive there before we had to leave.

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. As you sift through her memories together, may you find joy and peace.

  21. Lisa says:

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  22. Jackie Baisa says:

    Oh Jen…

    I don’t even know what to say, except to tell you that this post touched me. It’s simply a stunning portrait of a matriarch of a lovely family.

    Rest in peace, Jen’s Grandmother…

  23. Sil says:

    I’m so sorry for your lost, Jen. Your granmother was a beautiful person indeed. I lost mine almost 3 years ago and I miss her deeply.
    My thoughts are with you and your family. Take care.

  24. Michelle in Chicago says:

    What a wonderful post on your grandmother. It is such a privilege that such a wonderful person touched your life.

  25. Jaya says:

    Jen, I lost my father 10 years ago, and yet, I still never know exactly what to say when other people encounter loss in their lives. I suppose the best I can do is remain here and “listen” in case you ever want to share your joy, sadness or any of the swirling colours of emotion in between that occupy the white space of grief.
    Based only on the photos you posted on your blog, I always thought your grandmother had a very twinkly aura. I distinctly took note of this because my own Nani (grandma) and I were inseparable for many years, and she was equal parts retired scholar and giggly little lady. Although I grew up in a very loving, close family, I really thought of Nani as my true and only soulmate. Grandmothers are such amazing people and losing them (at any age) is difficult to bear. I hope that your family finds all of the light, hope and memory it needs to move through this. Although I miss my grandmother almost unbearably at times, reading about yours has always lifted my spirits. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  26. marianne says:

    Big hug to you and your family, Jen. Thinking of you guys this whole time….

  27. Mrs E. says:

    Jen, I don’t know what to say. My thoughts are with you and your family. It is obvious to us how closely-knitted your family is and may you and your family tide through this tough time together. hugs.

  28. Manisha says:

    This is such a beautiful tribute to a strong wonderful woman. And she did not look close to 90, no way! It’s wonderful that you see so much of her in you because you know that she lives on through you in one way or another. Hugs to you through this difficult time. Love you lots.

  29. Melissa says:

  30. Heidi @ Food Doodles says:

    What a beautiful post. I’m so sorry for your loss. That feeling of having just lost my grandmother is something I still carry around almost 10 years later.
    I’m thinking of you and your family right now.

  31. Laura B. says:

    What a beautiful post Jen. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

  32. thedelishdishblog says:

    im so sorry for your loss. she was so beautiful! sending you comforting thoughts

  33. Cynthia says:

    This was really beautiful Jen. We’ll see you in San Jose tomorrow. *big hugs*

  34. Judy says:

    Such a lovely tribute to your beloved grandmother. Mine passed away about 16 years ago at age 92, and I still think of her everyday. She ignited my passion for cooking. My thoughts and virtual hugs are for you today.

  35. crunchy domestic goddess (amy) says:

    What a beautiful tribute, Jen. Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman. Sending you love and hugs and peace and strength during this difficult time.

  36. Kelsey says:

    Even with your heart shattered into a million pieces, you’ve manage to write an absolutely beautiful entry. Every word and every picture show your love for your grandmother–a true testament, for certain. May the peace you found that day stay with you and your family.

  37. Sheryl says:

    Sending you hugs and love, Jen.

  38. Richard says:

    Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your grandmother.

  39. Randi says:

    Thank you for sharing a bit of her with us. This is s such a beautifully moving tribute–so real. My love to you and your family.

  40. Anne says:

    So sorry for this huge loss. The post was a wonderful way to share so much of your Grandma. She was a person to be treasured. Blessings to all of you.

  41. Becky says:

    Dear, how i feel for you. i had the very same thing happen to me just a few weeks ago, only it was my grandfather. i understand every bit of what you’re going through, and i want you to know that reading your open hearted words really touched me.
    i have never visited your blog before, but i will make sure to come back. thank you so much for sharing this. /becky

  42. Diana Banana says:

    I’m so sorry, and thinking of you and your family.

    Grandmas are the best. I know exactly the feeling of wonder, trust and awe in looking up to her for the deepest peace and comfort from the world. Your Grandma’s handwriting looks exactly like my Grandma’s, and my mother’s, writing down english words with translations. I love how there are really obscure, complicated words right next to short, simple ones, her vocabulary skills were all over the map!

    I’m glad that your Grandma had such a rich, happy life. The fact that she went without the pain of sickness is a blessing for her.

  43. stephanie says:

    Oh, Jen. So sorry to hear the news about your grandma. It’s heartbreaking.

    I know you will miss her terribly. The memories of your time together are such an amazing gift. I am so happy to hear that you were able to leave immediately and be with your family and really have that time to remember, laugh and cry.

    That photo of the two of you is so wonderful. So special.

  44. Janine says:


    How beautifully written, straight from the heart! You are lucky to have a chance to touch her belongings, to be with her once more. Courage, ma fille!

  45. Collette says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing a little bit of her with us over the years.

  46. Nancy says:

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  47. zinnur says:

    Jen, i am sorry for your loss. she was a lucky person to leave behind such a legacy, and you are a gifted writer who can write from the heart.

  48. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Beautiful. Like her. And you.

  49. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand says:

    What a world it would be if we could all go out like your Grandma, having earned the love and admiration of our family and friends, lucid and learning to the end.

    Grief is so hard. May it soon give way to joy again.

  50. Shelley says:

    So very sorry to hear of the loss of your grandmother. There are many virtual hugs coming your way from your URB family.

  51. Rosa says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.

    In thoughts with you and your family.



  52. Jessica says:

    So sorry to hear about your loss. She sounds like a wonderful grandma!

  53. Joyce says:

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your grandmother. Glad you were able to be there with your family and share in tears and laughter. Your aunt’s delightful smile says a lot about your grandma’s ingenuity!

    Thinking of you.

  54. Christina says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Your grandma seemed lovely. It reminds me of my grandma. Thanks for sharing. My thoughts are with you & your family.

  55. Lanette says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience through your beautiful images and intimate story. I am moved to tears.

  56. Tawnia says:

    Such a beautiful post. I am sorry for your loss, but happy you found peace.

  57. Kimberly says:

    This was a beautiful post. So sorry for your loss.

  58. Pat says:

    Your post reminds me of my beloved grandmother as well. Like you, I had hoped beyond hope we’d always be together…and we are despite her leaving us several years ago. She is so much a part of me, and her thoughts and words still echo in my mind. I’m sure that it will be the same for you. She is there with you still, just inside. Sending much love…

  59. Bridget says:

    What a special person your grandmother was. It’s wonderful that you didn’t take that granted and always appreciated her. I admire your outlook in celebrating her life with your family.

  60. gloria says:

    So sorry by your loss but waht nice picture of your grandma, is a lovely post, huggs gloria

  61. Brendan says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Your entire family will be in my thoughts and prayers

  62. Mollie says:

    Such love… And your grandma does kick ass! My heart goes out to you, sending love and peace. And I’m so glad you could find some of that grandma feeling being in her space.

  63. Jess says:

    I saw the thumbnail and title and really hoped the content was different from what I expected. I’m so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful, touching tribute to Grandma.

  64. Diana says:

    Sorry for your loss Jen. Sending you love, hugs and peace!

  65. Raina says:

    Your grandma is beautiful, just like you. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, and I’m thinking of you and your family.

  66. Margie says:

    May you always be comforted by the treasures written in your heart by your beautiful grandma.

  67. April in CT says:

    What a beautiful picture of you and your Grandmother. I’m so very sorry for this loss.

  68. Pamela D. says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Such a lovely, vibrant woman. You were so fortunate to have her so long.

  69. Kath says:

    What a beautiful, beautiful elegant woman your grandma was. Thank you for sharing her with all of us…and for sharing your heart. Holding you in my thoughts dear Jen.

  70. Shoshanna says:

    Jen, this is a touching tribute to a wonderful woman who was obviously loved by many. Although I do not know her, I feel that I’ve come to know her through reading URB. She reminds me a lot of my grandmother who passed away unexpectedly from a deadly stroke. I faced a similar situation where I got a call in the middle of the night, except I didn’t check my phone until the next morning. She was supposed to recover from the stroke but died 3 days later on October 2, 2007. It’s been over 3.5 years and I still miss her, every day. She was only 76.

    I think you will find it comforting to keep some momentos from her apartment. When you miss her, you might find some comfort in seeing something that once belonged to this lovely woman who enriched your and everyone elses life.

    My thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  71. Fiona says:

    Thanks for a wonderful post. Every time you have posted about your grandmother in the past, it always prompted me to call my parents and just touch base with them.

  72. Sally - My Custard Pie says:

    I lovely tribute – how lucky we are when someone wonderful is part of our lives. She sounds like she made the most of her 90 years.

  73. Lindsay says:

    Lovely post…

  74. Colleen says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a lovely lady. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  75. Von says:

    The pics of your grandma are lovely. I could see the kindness and joy radiating from her eyes. I’ve always enjoyed reading your visit to grandma posts. May she rest in peace.

  76. marlene says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your beautiful writing brought tears to my eyes… Your descriptive narrative brought memories of the passing of my grandma, my mom and my dear Aunt. May their memories be eternal.

  77. Nikk says:

    Mi condolences.

  78. Angela says:

    I lost my mom almost 20 years ago, also unexpectedly. While I don’t know exactly how you feel, I have an inkling. Reading your post brought back similar emotions but it helps to let all of it out so it doesn’t haunt you inside. Thanks for sharing the photos. Her kind face is endearing and I’m glad you’ll always have the memories of her.

  79. Elizabeth B says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to you and your family. Your grandother sounds like an amazing and special person. Thank you for sharing such a lovely tribute.

  80. Lorane says:

    I am so very sorry for you and for all those that will miss her. I am glad that she was a part of your family and that so many were better off from having known her.

  81. Paulette says:

    Sometimes words are hard to express, especially wnen it comes to the loss of loved. I never knew my fathers mother, she passed when I was very young. But my maternal grandmother died on my tenth birthday and the time I did have with her was very short. But I still remember the smell of vanilla when I would sit on her lap. The smile on her face that would make you smile no matter what mood you were in. Her cooking especially her love of Italian food. I believe our loved ones never leave us. We cry the tears of sadness wishing the time we shared with them would never end. Your grandmother will always be with you. In your thoughts, and in your heart she will be there to guide you. The final exit is never final we will all see our loved ones again. I think that is what keeps me going when someone so dear to me has passed. I know I will be with them again. Your in my thoughts and prayers. Paulette

  82. Ash says:

    Thank you for sharing her with us; all the best to you and your family during this time.

  83. Nancy in NJ says:

    What a lovely to tribute to a beautiful woman. She was very lucky to have been loved so deeply by her granddaughter.

  84. Angie Gibb says:

    Grandmothers… its where it begins for most of us women. If your lucky, like I was, and clearly as you were then you have learned a great deal from this wonderfully special woman, as I did from my own grandmother. Small sayings, little things (and big revelations) about cooking, things about being smart and frugel and for me, where our food really comes from (my grandparents were farmers, I was lucky as a child to know all about these things). I am deeply sorry for your loss Jen, and now is a time for reflection on her wonderful life and what she meant to you and also, what she’s left you – Deep love, fond memories and a lifetime of fullness in her having been in your life. XO.

  85. Laurel says:

    Jen, I’m so sorry for your loss. I haven’t been reading your blog for more than a year or so, but in that time your love for your grandmother has come through over and over again. This tribute is beautiful and gives me a real sense of her personality. I’d love to see some of the things she redesigned.

    I’m glad that, in this time of sorrow, you found some peace and joy in her home.

  86. Ruth Ann says:

    Jen, thank you for sharing with us the things that made your Grandmother so special in this post and your past ones. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  87. Eve says:

    My sincere condolences to you and your family.

  88. Lily says:

    My deepest and most sincere condolences to you and your family during this difficult time.

  89. Ellie says:

    What a beautiful tribute to such an important woman. My thoughts are with you and your family – it sounds as if you can find some measure of comfort in each other.

  90. Pauline says:

    Jen, I am really sorry that you have lost someone so dear to you. My thoughts are with you and your family during this sad time.

  91. Luney says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My own grandmother passed away last month after a week in a coma following heart surgery. She would have been 90 in the next few months. A lot of ugly things came to light with her death, and a very fragile family network has been completely demolished. It felt like a big soap opera (one of those Japanese dramas, since everyone excluding my mother is Japanese and a much too proud of it).

    I’ve only been following your blog for the past two years or so, but I’ve always loved how you talked about your family with such love. I’ve always have and will continue to take courage from your posts. Even though sunny California is so far away, the people you love are never actually far.

    Thank you for sharing your grandmother with those of us who will never have the pleasure of knowing her in person. <3

  92. Lily says:

    I stumbled onto your food blog, and this was the first read. I also lost my grandma suddenly. I felt like all the light in the world had extinguished when they took this one soul who raised me. There are still moments where, through little reminders, I’m suddenly overwhelmed with grief two years later. I hope that you find comfort in her things and memories of her and remember her as she lived.

  93. Rose says:

    Jen, may you be comforted by the love that surrounds you and your family in this time of loss.

  94. 1pretzelgirl says:

    I’m very sorry for the loss of your beautiful grandma. Your writings are such a gift – this in particular reminds me of the lovely relationship I had with my own grandmother, whom I so miss. I’m really happy for you that your relationship was sweet and enduring. She was beautiful.

  95. Cookin Canuck says:

    Oh Jen, I’m so sorry. I can feel, with ever word you wrote, how deeply you love your Grandma. She was clearly a beautiful woman, with such a kind face and sharp mind. I am thinking of you.

  96. Helen in CA says:

    {{ Jen }}
    What is remembered, lives

  97. Carl says:

    When I left Baltimore to move to Japan, the last thing that my mother said to me was, “I have a feeling that I am never going to see you again.” Less than one year later, she died of cancer. The flight from Tokyo was not pleasant, to say the least. Hearing about the loss of a loved one over the telephone is something that I know all too well. My sympathies to you and your family.

  98. farmerpam says:

    Jen, so sorry for your loss. I’ve always looked forward to your California trips because I knew we’d get to hear about your visit with Gram. I felt like I lived vicariously through these posts, as my Gram has long since passed and your sharing always made me smile.

  99. Christine says:

    Jen, I am so sorry for your loss. I’ll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts. (Your grandmother was beautiful, inside and out and it shines through.)

  100. Sarah says:

    I am so sorry for your loss Jen. Your love for her is obvious and your photos beautiful.

  101. Jennifer says:

    What a beautiful description of such a lovely woman. My condolences.

  102. Jamie Parker says:

    Jen, Its been months since I’ve looked at your site (though I’ve been reading it for years)… I’m sorry, but life and having a toddler just got in the way…and tonight, though I was feeling low and gloomy and lonely all day, I remembered you and your site. I typed your address in and bam, I read this post. I sobbed reading your words and looking at your photos. Your grandma was just like my grandma. This post touched me so deep and ironically, it also lifted me out of my gloom and my lowness and reminded me of what life is all about. Your grandma’s attitude, her legacy reminded me of my own purpose in this life. So, thank you Jen. Your grandma lives on in you. Big hugs.

  103. Bonjour Juliette says:

    bonjour Jen, i just found your blog by chance today, and reading this i was deeply touched… i have an old grandma too, whom i deeply love, and i moved house (for the 10000th time) a few days ago and the feelings you describe here are all around me at this time of my life… i don’t know you but i’m sending you good thoughts from Paris, france, and thank you for all this. Your grandma looks fabulous in the pictures and in your words…

  104. Stephanie says:

    I am so sorry.

  105. Veronica says:

    Hello Jen, I have followed you as well over the years and am so sorry for your loss. She looked like a beautiful soul. So lucky we have you through her. Sincerest condolences.

  106. Stefanie says:

    hi jen – thinking of you today and wishing you peace.

  107. Bebe says:

    So Sorry Jen. Thought about you a lot over the past couple of days…

  108. Dianne says:

    I am sorry to hear of your loss. I know that you had a special relationship with you Grandmother. I have been reading your blog for quite a while now and know how your treasured your visits with her. I lost my own mother, 92 years old, just one week ago. I feel as if I am living in a fog. I have to remind myself that living 90+ years was truly a gift. I have a lifetime of memories and she is now in a better place. I hope you keep fond memories of your grandmother close to your heart and may her spirit live in you forever.

  109. Molly-Iris says:

    I’m so sorry Jen. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  110. Phyllis Ringstad says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. Your grandma so reminds me of my own. I lost her nearly 45 years ago, but she raised me, and everything I am today, is because of her. This reminds me so much of how I miss her, and brings to mind how you must feel. Bless your sweet grandmother, and I know if she were here, she would ask to bless her sweet granddaughter, and to hold, and comfort her in her grief. I don’t know you personally, but I certainly feel very close to you today.

  111. Annie says:

    This is a beautiful post, Jen. You and your family have been in my thoughts so much this past week. I’m very sorry for your loss and I know how awful it feels to lose a grandparent who you treasure beyond words, but I’m glad you have a lifetime of memories with her.

  112. Hannah@ Bake Five says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. :(

  113. Denise-EPL says:

    Just lovely. Sending you a warm hug and thinking of you and your family. Your grandmother reminded me of my great aunt, after her passing we found the same special items (table cloths and hand made items) wrapped in tissue paper and gently stored. I have her table cloth collection and use them daily, over the decades she owned them, they were maybe used a handful of times.

  114. Ananda Rajashekar says:

    Sorry for your loss Jen, sending hugs and prayers for strength to your family!

  115. Lisa says:

    I am so sorry. What a beautiful woman! And a beautiful tribute. Love from a long-time reader…

  116. Pascal says:


    I’m a new fan and visitor. Today was my first time reading your blog (less than an hour, really–I’ve been hopping through some amazing foodie blogs and found yours). I was intrigued by the pictures, the design, and the color scheme; all of which I love and congratulate you on. It really is a wonderful blog, just to look at and dream about some of the experiences you’ve shared.

    I’m always a silent observer when reading things like this, but I couldn’t resist responding to this post. I hope I’m not overstepping and please take this with utmost respect, but I felt like I could sense her spirit through your pictures and your writing. The expressions of you and your family just sum up such an amazing woman, just a blessed woman, and I wanted to say that this is a truly fitting and priceless tribute to a life well lived. From the voice I’m hearing in my head as I read, I think she passed on that same loving gracefulness to you and I wish you all the best.

    I’m unsure about how your family/culture refers to the dearly departed, so if I have offended in any way, please accept my apology. I was struggling with an issue today but reading about your grandmother and how your family is celebrating her really helped me find my center and calm. Thank you so much for sharing, it means a lot to someone who knows what it’s like to lose someone you love.

    With love and respect,
    Pascal Prophete

  117. Trolleira says:

    Dear Jen, I am so sorry for you – I liked every bit you ever wrote about your grandmother and envied every bit as you still had her and I was missing mine for already so long. I am touring still colorado and I am back in the denver area and almost every day are thinking of you, your pictures and articles from here! I enjoy everything here so much and I am so sad to read, that you have at this moment such a big loss.

    Being in thoughts with you,

  118. Dana says:

    Jen, I am so far behind on my reading and just got to this. (I know you know how this goes.) I am so very sorry for your loss. I had grandparents in my life who were totally and completely disinterested in me and my brothers. I know you know how lucky you are to have had a wonderful grandmother who influenced you and enriched your life. I also know that does not make her passing any easier. I wish you grace and patience through this difficult time.

  119. Nan says:

    Nothing worse than the middle of the night phone call. Still makes my heart lurch. I’m so sorry for your loss. Nan

  120. alice says:

    Your grandma sounds lovely, I’m so sorry for your loss…

  121. Jenny says:

    Sucks. I’m so sorry, your grandma sounds so wonderful. I’m absolutely dreading the day mine goes, she’s my absolute hero and more like me than anyone on this planet.

  122. michelle says:

    My dear grandmother died almost exactly one year ago. She was my hero, my dear example in everything. I feel your pain. I’m so glad that you had these lovely family times to get you through the initial heartache.

  123. WeiWei says:

    It’s been a year since I lost the most important and loving woman who raised me. Thank you for sharing your story of your grandmother. I still feel like mine is with me everyday.

  124. Troy says:

    My heart goes out to you and your family. No one can ever know exactly what you’re feeling right now. No one can fill the void in your heart. Your grandmother’s memories will forever be with you and she will live through you. Don’t be afraid to feel; each day will get a little easier.

  125. NCB says:

    I’m so sorry to read of your loss. May you and your family have strength in this time of grief.

  126. Bobbi says:

    It is a lovely tribute to your grandmother. I love your photos and the stories you shared and hearing about how she influenced you.

  127. kat says:

    I was very close to my grandmother as well. still think about her every day. I love you, Jen! xo

  128. jenyu says:

    Thank you, all of you. I appreciate your kind words of love and support. She was the best grandma ever. xxoo

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