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FC: L | Letters to Gramma 2012

1: You are the person that holds our family together, with humor, grace (think Elaine on Seinfeld), a quick wit, wonderful cooking and entertaining skills and a no-nonsense attitude. Your home is our "home base." We are so proud to be your family! Thank you for all you do. With love, from all of us... | MOM | GRAMMA | DANA

3: Memories. I have many of the past 33 years. The good ones more clearly. The “others” are now fuzzy and vague. It’s been a wonderful trip that has yet to end. My first memories include watching you walk up your driveway on 21st after a ride home on a snowy day in ’78 or early ’79. It had to be slowest walk using the smallest footsteps ever up that icy surface. A little like Emma’s crab walk, only slower. It still makes me smile. The pre-family family trips to Branson and Harrison. The Illinois River float trip turned out to be good indicator of things to come. The first official family trip to Washington and Connecticut with 7 in that red van. Everyone sleeping most of time except you, me and the navigator. The real start of something new. Good trip. Chance to Change-that was an adventure. A full house to just us in 10 years. Five Weddings...oops Six, ten births. Next wave-Great Grands. That should be fun. | Don

4: I’ve always been in awe of your willingness to always try helping all of us with whatever we need when we need it. Your patience with my addiction to golf and my rants on politics, the kids, the grand kids, those idiot drivers, the weather, etc. is amazing and appreciated. You keep me balanced. I love you.

6: One of my favorite memories is what happened after I had wrecked Dad's truck. I remember sitting at Bill's house, having dinner but dreading the time when I would have to return to face the music and the yelling for my stupidity. Then you called to tell me that I needed to get home "RIGHT NOW" because Dad was pissed and wanted to see me. Upon arrival, though, Dad's first words were, "I wish you'd stayed gone longer, so I could cool down." (As I think about that now, I am not sure it would have mattered.) But, what is so memorable is the look on your face as you heard this and the words you mouthed, "I'm sorry." At the time, I was frustrated, today I smile every time that story is told because I know you meant well and I truly believe it is what my dad wanted. | Doing my own laundry at age 12- While at the time I didn't like it, it taught me a key responsibility that I still do today. One day I will teach that to my kids. And, yes I realize that I am running out of time with Adam just turning 12. Learning to put the dishes away quieter, as you were always quick to remind us to be quiet. Again, another skill that I still think about to this day. Going to see movies with you and Dad on the weekends before we had kids, even cartoons, such as The Lion King.

7: When you and I discussed painting your fence. When we saw "Tangled" and you said you loved the horse and chameleon. When we made scrambled eggs for (my) first time.

8: Adam | When we went to Sea World as a big family. When we went to Frontier City as a big family. Staying at your house when I had my eye appointments. | When you and I discussed painting your fence. When we saw "Tangled" and you said you loved the horse and the chameleon. When we made scrambled eggs for (my) first time. | Emma

9: When we were moving out of our house in Edmond, and Chris hadn't made it home yet. I was trying to organize the movers, watch the kids and I was a bawling, blubbering mess. You had called to check on me and I was a wreck. You asked, "How can I help?" I asked you to come get the kids and you were there in 20 minutes, took the kids and I didn't have to worry about them for the rest of the day. | Rachel | The day we moved out of our house in Edmond, you and I went back to pick up some things and you clogged up the toilet. No plunger, and new people were moving in the next morning. We left and prayed that God would take care of it. When we were at Sea World and you kept getting stopped by the life guards for trying to get in the Lazy River while wearing "denim." You kept having to go to different entrances to try to elude the life guards so you could sneak in. Taking the kids to your house to show off their Halloween costumes when they were little.

10: Shortly after Chris and I got married, we met you all to see the movie "Boomerang." It starred Eddie Murphy and was raunchy and embarrassing. I sat by you and was mortified the whole time! When we were in the bowling league together. We weren't on the same team, but I looked forward to seeing you each Monday. | The many hours spent "waiting" for the guys to get done playing golf, when actually we had wonderful talks, just the two of us. The many weekends that Adam and I came down so he could go to his eye appointments. You were always open to having us. I remember one particular weekend, Adam and I had made plans to stay with my parents. When Adam and I were in the car and had made it 5 hours to Wichita when my dad called and canceled on us. I called you, on the verge of tears and asked if we could stay with you. You were so sweet and, of course opened your home to us. And, other times, when you weren't even there, you always reminded me, "The code is Christmas" So we would have a place to stay.

12: Mom- I want to thank you for always being there for me. You have always been the person I could rely on to help get me through things. You have always been a really fun mom, You are one of the funniest people I know. Your off the wall sense of humor cracks me up. You were always a favorite parent among my friends when I was growing up. Everyone loved how funny and relaxed you were. | Kelly | I have so many fun memories with you. I remember when I was little and I would wake up early on the weekends. I would climb into your bed and bug you until you got up and hung out with me. I remember you taking us cool places-like the Shawn Cassidy concert, the star trek convention, taking us to get donuts on the weekends. I have memories of you sliding on your socks on the kitchen floor- with your arms out like you were ice skating. I remember you taking care of Lucky when Bandit sat on her and broke her leg. And taking care of Bandit-I remember he would sit on your lap at the vet because he was scared. That was so funny-You sitting there with that huge dog in your lap. You always were able to appreciate the hilarity of a situation.

13: Like when Bagu fell off the wall. One second he was there,then he just disappeared!! And the time you were trying to be all mature and you made me say out loud what I was trying to whisper to you. So I had to say that you had a booger in your nose in front of everybody. That was hilarious-for me!! Our trips to Texas to see Grandaddy were always fun. I loved the time that Carmen came to yell at Ang and me for being so loud in the middle of the night-and she caught you in our bed being just as silly as we were. Kleenexes stuck in our noses and making fart jokes!! You and I used to watch a lot of TV together. We would lay on your bed and watch Soap, Dynasty, St Elsewhere, L.A. Law, and Miami Vice. We would always laugh and have a lot of fun when we were together. Making random trips to Pier One to look around was always fun too | You have always been really good about teaching me the things I need to know to get through life. You encouraged me to get through school and make sure I could always support myself. I am so thankful for that. You taught me how to be an independent woman.

14: I was always so proud of the job you did with us during the years that you were raising Ang and me alone. You showed how to be strong and independent and to make it through even the worst circumstances. When you married Don, and we became a bigger family, you continued to make life special. You have always made sure we have the best Christmases. We always have a great family Christmas together. One funny memory of Christmas was when your tree feel down in the middle of our celebration. The Rock N Roll soccer player is a classic now!! You also worked really hard to make my wedding special. That meant a lot to me. And you were there for me during my long drawn out divorce. I really appreciate you always being there for me. Thank you for always taking care of me when I am sick and after surgeries. It is so nice to have you there caring for me. It makes it so much easier to get better with all the help that you give me. I appreciate that you help me with Cameron and make sure I have everything I need. That all makes such a big difference. I'm glad we still live close together so we can see each other regularly. I love going to lunch with you and catching up on everything. I am so thankful I have a mom like you that is so fun to hang out with. I love you!!

15: Cameron | Thank You for being a good grandma to me. Thank You for being part of my life and creating great memories with me. I remember going to the Transiberian Orchestra with you and Melanie, That was a lot of fun. I had fun when you took me to see the Life of Pi. Thank You for getting me a blue slushie and taking me to Destiny's work and getting me a pair of her gorgeous earrings and a fairy wand. Thank You for taking me and my mom to the Devon Energy place and eating lunch with us, that was really fun. Thank You for all of the times you took us to Furr's when they were open. I will never forget the fun we had and the good food. I will never forget the time that the Christmas tree fell down and created the "Rockin' Soccer Player". I still have a little Jewelry Box you gave me when I was little, you gave me a black box with hearts on it and you gave Melanie a Pig.

18: Dear Dana, I know I did not make things easy for you, especially when I was younger, but I love and appreciate you very much. I remember one of the funniest things you did when I was younger, I believe this was right after you and Dad got married and you were taking all five of us kids to our respective school. We were behind a school bus and one of the kids in the back flipped us the bird | and you said at the count of three we should all flip him the bird back. Of course, I was being a jerk and would not do it, but everyone else did it and the look on that kid's face was a classic. I have always envied your sewing ability, as well. You were kind enough to make my Christmas Dance dress and my Senior Prom dress. I loved both of them. I remember the great trip to Washington DC to see your mother and Chick. My favorite parts of the trip was the Smithsonian Museum and the Washington Monument. Of course, the hardwood floor at your Mother's place was a great source of entertainment, as well. I love you and again appreciate everything you do for me and my daughters. | Kellie

19: Jeanie | Dear Gramma I remember that one summer where you would take Melanie and I to Ripper Park once or twice a week to go swimming for a couple hours. I remember going down the slide. It was so much fun and one of my favorite summers. I also have a good memory of all the cousins staying the night at your house on Christmas and you and Grandpa would tell us to keep it down a thousand times because we were laughing so loud. Thank you for giving us a chance to spend time with our cousins. I also remember we went to see "Happy Feet" on Thanksgiving (or was it Christmas?) It was fun because it was completely random. We were just like, "Hey! Let's go see 'Happy Feet'!" We have had so many good times and more to come. Thank you for being in my life. I love you.

20: Sara | Dear Gramma, I appreciate you. Thank you for letting us sleep over Christmas night with all our cousins. That is always so much fun. I also like going to have breakfast the next morning too. We all always have so much fun, even though I know we must drive you and Grandpa crazy. I also like when you are able to come to my softball games and support me. I like knowing you are in the stands cheering for me. I also love the Christmas ornaments that you get all of us every year. It is fun to look at the year of each ornament and remember how old I was when I got it from you. Thank you again for everything. I love you.

22: Angi | You are the kind of mom who, when we came in from playing in the snow, would greet us with warm socks, fresh from the dryer and hot chocolate or a warm meal. You would wake us up on the weekends, saying, "I made donuts..." When we couldn't sleep, you would rub our backs until we could. When we were stressed out at night, you would say, "Everything will look better in the morning." And it always did. I still tell my girls that. When you made homemade cinnamon rolls or bread, you would let the dough rise and then let Kelly and me take turns punching the dough. So much fun! On trips to Pottsboro, you would let us curl up in our sleeping bags in the back of the Nova. You got hours of peace and quiet and we had an awesome time sleeping and then waking up long enough to see the Red River. Then, on the way home, we would stop at Stucky's for lunch and a tour of the souvenir shop.

23: You always made sure we spent lots of time with our grandparents and cousins. We always had so much fun. When I moved to Florida, you would send care packages with different things to cook and eat, and sometimes fun little mementos to remind me of home. At Christmas, you would put a note on my gifts, "Don't open until Christmas!" When I peeked inside, I always found it had been double wrapped, with a note on the inside saying, "That means December 25th!!!" That always made me laugh! You know me so well! When my kids were little, you would take them and let me get some stuff done or get some rest, One time, when Mel was a baby, you spent the night at my apartment and watched the girls, so I could get some uninterrupted sleep. I slept in the same position, not moving a muscle, from 8 pm until 8 am! That was great! You gave me the perfect gift! You have always dropped everything and come running when I need you. You have cared for me, nurtured me and given me advice, always with loving intention, You have been an amazing Grandma to my kids. They love you so much and have always had fun spending time with you! You make me laugh so hard! You are hilarious, without even trying to be. You have a wacky sense of humor and am grateful that you have passed that down to me and my girls. I love you, Mom! Thank you for being such an amazing woman and being such a big part of our lives!

24: Dear Mom, For all the times you stayed awake while I cried, For all the steps you let me take, knowing I might fall, For all the sacrifices you made for K and me, For all the times my needs were put before yours, For all the support you gave when I had lost my way, For all the joyful memories you give to my girls and me, For all the times you could have said "I told you so" but didn't, For all the prayers you pray for me and mine, For all the times you dropped everything to run to my rescue, For your love, your generosity, For your humor and all your kindness... From the depth of my heart, I thank you. Love, Angela 5-7-05

25: Destiny | My earliest memory of you was when I was very young and kept trying to stick a troll doll in your shirt. Thanks for loving me even though I'm weird. You've always had a great sense of humor. I remember when I was younger I always looked forward to when you would pick me up to go to the movies or have a sleepover at your house. We usually had fun, even though I used to make you play Monopoly all the time. The reason I liked it was because it was the longest game and I enjoyed when we played games. Thank you for always having been there for me, even when I didn't think anyone would be. I love you.

26: Melanie | Dear Gramma, My earliest memory with you is when my family lived in the duplex in the same neighborhood as you. You had come over in the morning with donut holes and I remember sitting on your lap, eating them, while you and my mom chatted. I also remember when you would let me stay the night at your house. I always loved staying at your house, eating popcorn and watching movies. You even let me sleep in your bed, which was brave, considering I take up 90% of the bed. Then in the morning, we would eat Jimmy's Egg.

27: I always looked forward to eating breakfast with you and Grandpa, even though we woke up at the butt-crack of dawn, since the three of us are morning people. I love how every year I have the honor of helping you bake and cook items for Christmas. We are always trying new recipes and even though they don't always look so beautiful (like that first batch of Oreo balls), everything still tastes delish. One time, when we were in the kitchen at your old house, you told me that every time I poked my belly button, that I made a little screw in it come loose and that screw was holding my butt on. And that if the screw got loose enough, my butt would fall off. I completely believed you at that moment. Some days, I think of you telling me that and I have a good ol' laugh at myself, because that was really funny. Thank you so much for being such a great person and a fantastic Gramma. You're one of my favorite people to be around. And you're always understanding, even though you have your own opinion. I Love you very much. Have a very Merry Christmas!

28: Mike | Dear Dana, | Memories are amazing. Some are sprinkled with pain, some tinged with regret but most memories bring a smile to my face. For Christmas this year,I thought I would share some of the fond, not to mention somewhat random, memories from my childhood. These fond memories, at least in the inner workings of my brain, are linked to you either directly or indirectly and appear in no particular order... Enjoy...

29: A caring memory of the patience and love you showed as you transported me when I broke my leg in 8th grade. You were incredibly kind and tolerant as I screamed at every bump in the road all the way to Mercy Hospital. A culinary memory of cantaloupe, spaghetti with Italian bread toasted on the electric griddle, various meats coated in Oven Fry, the amazing Calzone you would make from time to time, steak with white rice and Fruity Pebbles that Kelly and I would fight over and try to consume as fast as possible. An automotive memory of your baby blue Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. A cool ride indeed. A character building memory of the chores we had to do and the weekly chart on which they were communicated. Sadly, your grandkids still don't know how to do their laundry. A literary memory of your love of a good book, mostly in the Mystery genre. You once had a connection in the book business. Times do change, don't they?

30: A cinematic memory of watching Cheech and Chong at your house when you and Dad were dating. I am not sure, but I think there may have been some illicit behavior portrayed in that movie. I was fairly clueless at the time. A tolerance-in-action memory of your reaction to Kelly's and my perpetual bickering. A memory of the road trips to Lake Texoma to visit your dad on Thanksgiving. Dallas Cowboys football was always in the cards. A happy memory of your laugh and smile that invariably brightened any day. A much-ado-about-nothing memory of Family Therapy and the infamous "hopeful and confident" chorus from Kelly, Kellie, Chris and I. The truth is we were hopeful, but not so confident we could avoid being the kid called on for more introspection. To this day, I am convinced that feelings are stupid. A hard-hitting news memory of the many, many, many People magazines around the house. All the news that's fit to print...about Justin Bieber and Lady Di.

31: I saved the best memory for last. That is the memory of you being a mom when I needed one. I know it wasn't always easy taking on three more children dealing with a host of emotions but you came through well. And for that I am very thankful. Have the best Christmas ever!

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