October 01, 2008

Missed It by || That Much

My Grandma Egan's birthday was September 14. I've been waiting for the day to get here because I wanted to write some things about this woman. For some reason I had it stuck in my head that her birthday was at the end of the month. Darn.

Grandma would have been 82. Lois Robinson Egan passed away on February 4, 1997.

The last time I saw her was the weekend before she passed away. She'd had some kind of surgery at the Utah Valley Regional Med Center, and Jon and I had driven down to Provo to see her. I was 3 months pregnant with Carson. I don't think my stomach was that big, but as soon as I walked in the door she told me that I needed to sit down. I got to sit on her bed and rub her feet while we talked.

Grandma was a very stubborn woman who absolutely refused to go through dialysis. Grandpa had taken her to Pocatello to have her first treatment. They had her all hooked up, and she asked him to go get her a magazine across the hall. He came back, and she was gone. I suppose that even in the end Grandma got her way.

There are a lot of things that I miss about Grandma.
  • I miss the expression on her face when it was obvious that she disagreed with whatever you said. For some reason I remember this happening as I was heading out the back door, and she was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. She looked at me with that look, looked down at her hands, and then looked out the window while she shook her head.
  • I miss watching her in her garden wearing her black rubber boots, holding up the bottom of her pocketed apron to create a place to hold veggies or raspberries or birds eggs.
  • I miss feeding lambs and chicks with her on cold spring mornings.
  • I miss watching her dry out the shower because I didn't do a good enough job. I'm kind of sad that this is one of the reasons that Jon and I stopped staying at her house when we'd go to Idaho.
  • I miss watching her carry the wicker laundry basket outside to hang the clothes on the clothes line. Cory and I liked to run in and out of the sheets, and boy could she holler when she found us.
  • I miss the way she'd rapidly tap her tongue on the roof of her mouth when she was tasting things off the wooden spoon and the way she'd open up her mouth and quickly stick her tongue out if it wasn't quite right.
  • I miss her heart-stopping sneezes.
  • I miss the way she'd scream, "HUH?" at the top of her lungs and not do anything to try to hear you better.
  • I miss the smell of her Aquanet hair spray that she'd put on before she got ready to go to town. These trips usually involved going to Ropers, Gillettes, Burgers Etc, Kimberly Nursery, Golden Goose, or Twin. I loved that she knew everyone and that she actually smiled and laughed when we'd go see the butcher at Gillette's in Declo.
  • I miss how she'd try to get everyone loaded in the van to make the drive to Goshen when we'd go wash my dad's headstone. The last time this happened was shortly after Cory & Shannon got married. She was saying that my cousin, Spencer, wanted to go. There already weren't enough seats in the van to comfortably fit us all (van held 7-8, and there were 7 adults). Spencer and Mandy would have had to sit in the back with the cleaning stuff and the flowers. I'm sure I was exhibiting my own stubbornness, but I made Jon get out of the van and drive our own vehicle. The thing that really ticked me off later was that Spencer asked me who Don Lundberg was. Perfect demonstration that Spence could have cared less if he got to go or not. I was right, but what does that matter now?

I wouldn't say that she was a warm, fuzzy, hugging kind of grandma, but I know she did love me. When I found out my Grandma Lundberg died during my sophomore year of college, Grandma Egan was the first person I called. She just sat on the other end of the phone and let me cry. After a while she told me a few things that she loved about me and said that Grandma Lundberg probably loved the same things. Almost made up for her missing my high school graduation because she'd just got a new batch of chicks.

I wish my boys could have known her. I think they would have learned a lot from the woman.

She would have taught them to use wax paper squares to make the big slide even more slippery. She would have taught them to appreciate back rubs with pencils and foot rubs with green Vaseline lotion. She would have taught them that the world stopped for The Young and the Restless at 10:00. She would have taken them to visit scary old ladies like her friends Wanda, Kay, and Anna (OK - Anna wasn't so scary, but wow Wanda and Kay made me nervous). She would have taught them to love crushed ice (this was chewed open-mouthed so that you could hear the crunching while watching Y&R) and Pepsi. She would have let them play dress up with their aunt's clothing even though their aunt specifically said they could not be in her bedroom. She would have scared the living tar out of them by clacking her dentures together and then denied that it ever happened.

Grandma hated having her picture taken. Even in the photos from my wedding she's not smiling. This one was taken at the airport when Cory was leaving on his mission.

I miss you Grandma.


  1. What a lovely tribute to your grandma. I love that you miss her for her imperfections as well as her strengths. I remember you going to Oakley, ID all the time when we were growing up. Is that were she lived? Did you know that my husband's dad grew up there? Thanks for sharing.

  2. Okay, Staci. That comment was from me, Jenn. I really need to pay attention when my kids are signed in!

  3. I love it. It is so intereseting how our memories of Grandma are so different because of our age difference. Also, the story about Spencer not caring if he went to Goshen or not...not true! Spence and I both remember those trips very well and always wanted to go. (He's just not so great with names) Cleaning headstones is one of my most vivid memories of Grandma. That, and the way her rubber boots would make a suctioning noise when she walked and she told me it was the sound of her heart.

  4. Your grandma sounds like she was a fun one! I've been the Goshen cemetery several times - I didn't realize that's where your dad is burried. When I go there again, I'll try to find it.

  5. It has been so longs since I have seen a picture of Grandma. Reading your post makes me miss her so much. I think about her every September. Her birthday was always a few days before mine. All my kids have their birthdays in September and I always think about her taking us birthday shopping. She was such a great grandma. She truly new how to spoil us, but was hard on us when she needed to be. I will still watch Young and the Restless when I am running in the morning and I justify it by thinking that it must be okay because Grandma watched it everyday! Thanks for writing that!


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