Monday, April 2, 2012

Rest In Peace... Boppa

Boppa, (photo taken by my cousin, Alison)
On March 13th my grandmother (Boppa) passed away.  Boppa was 93 years old.  She battled breast cancer and won about ten years, but was not able to win the battle she had been fighting for about 3 years.  The more and more I think about her passing I know that it was for the best because of the pain she was in.  Boppa was the last of my grandparents to have passed away even though I never knew my two grand-fathers.  She had been living on her own and driving until about the last 4-6 months of her life.  She attended church regularly and loved her TGI Friday Mudslides and Amaretto Sour’s or what we called “Berk Specials”.  

A few of my favorite memories with my Boppa is that she always around for Jim and I. I remember her coming over every Sunday when we lived in Chicago with our other grandmother.  She always made cookies during the Christmas time.  She also took us to the zoo, which was very close to her house and after the zoo we went to little joe's for hot-dogs. She hated McDonald, at lease when were younger.  A day or two before my mom, brother and I would go over there my mom would always take us to McDonald so we didn't ask her to go with us.  A few years ago she fell in love with Quizones and boy did that one store in La Grange know her by name and sandwich.  Boppa always had "her" favorite resturants and would eat there until she got sick of eating the same items for a year or so.  

Boppa's house the day after the funeral
The last 5-7 years my family and I have been venturing up to Chicago for the Holidays. When the four of us go up there we always stayed with Boppa.  That is 5 adults in a three bedroom home with two bathrooms and one shower.  Need-less to say it was a tight fit for us. But we always made it through a holiday season even with a  lot of complaining about not wanting to go up there or about the sleeping arrangements.  But when we left the four of us all knew it was the right thing by going up there, even though we may of whispered under our breaths that we would never do it again!  But her house and backyard always looked great when the snow fell over the winter months in Chicago.  
One of the trees in her back
yard Christmas Morning 2010
Boppa’s children, children-in-law and grandchildren were always able to count on her to be the first birthday card received, with a gift inside.  She sent them out at the beginning of every month for those whose birthdays were in that month.  Luckily my birthday was the 4th of the month so I was usually able to open the card right when I receive it, but my brother who’s birthday is the 25th he always had to wait to right away the date, at lease when were younger and or lived at my parent’s house.  I am pretty sure she knew that the anticipation would kill some of those whose birthdays were later in the year.   

She was always the first to send out Christmas cards which she always had in the mail that Saturday after Thanksgiving.  It didn’t matter if we were coming to see her in Chicago for Christmas our gift was always in those card’s and she would always call about a week later to make sure it did not get lost in the mail.  And once again we were always told by her that we couldn’t open it until Christmas meaning we had to carry the card with us to her house to open it in front of her. 
It was Boppa’s way or the Highway, especially when it came to card games.  She was playing card until the last few days of her life.  She loved playing gin rummy and 31.  She loved taking all of our dimes when we use to go to her house and play cards with her.  If you didn’t remember your dimes over the Holidays you had to beg for her to let you borrow some from her.  And if you won you had to pay her right back.  And from what I hear she was the card shark at the nursing home too.  

Her Five grand-children
Boppa will always be remembered as a wonderful grandmother.  She had always traveled to most of our major events in our lives even though I don’t think she really liked flying much down to Atlanta, and even went on some family vacations with us like to Disney.  She will be greatly missed for winning at 31 and her strong opinions.  She was a wonderful mother, great grandmother and loving great-grandmother.   

The wake and funeral were beautiful.  It was unfortunate that was when my cousins and I were all able to see each other.  But like many families weddings and funerals bring people together.  Hopefully we are all able to get together more often with a celebration or a holiday.  

Love you Boppa!

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