ancestor story

Farewell to the Spunkiest Grandma I’ve Ever Known

On Saturday we gathered with family to say goodbye to Grandma Charlotte, my husband’s grandmother.  The funeral was lovely.  Her seven children, many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even some great-great-grandchildren were there to remember and celebrate Charlotte’s wonderful life.

Charlotte had more pep than anyone I’ve ever met – she bounced and danced everywhere she went.  She was always happy and busy.  She loved people.  And she had a lot of people.  Lots of people to love and to be loved by.

I have so many happy memories of this wonderful lady but there is one memory, in particular, that sort of typifies what it was like to hang out with Grandma Charlotte.  I wrote this in October of 2008:

{Small disclaimer, fornication is not a word I use.  But it was a word Grandma used on occasion.  I am pretty easy going and happy to roll with other’s personal values.  No judgment here, just me and Grandma Charlotte trying to sort out her vocab.}

Grandma Charlotte with my boys
L-R:  My marvelous middle boy, Grandma Charlotte holding my nephew, My amazing oldest – many years ago.
“This is Jason’s Grandma.  She is delightful.  I have a funny story to tell you about her. First I will introduce you a little.
The Introduction:
Grandma is 81. When you spend time with her you realize she is really 17 just in an 81 year old body. She knows how to have fun and all time spent with her is happy. Remember this post [link removed] of her dancing with her boyfriend? See – she is about the good times.
Grandma is always hugging, squeezing, patting, shaking you or holding your hand.
She is always smiling or laughing or talking.
She tells the same stories over and over again because when she can’t get over something she really can’t get over it.
So if, for instance, say her wonderful grandson Jason is moving close to her, you would hear her tell you 17 times in one day that her grandson Jason is moving close to her with all the details.
That’s a fun thing. Who gets tired of hearing good news I say?
Of course that also means if someone makes a bad choice you hear about how she can’t get over that too because Grandma is very serious about doing what is right.
I think that is also great – tell it like it is and expect people to choose the right I say.
There are lots of other wonderful things I could tell you but then this post will be too long. Trust me, Grandma is great. Oh- and it helps that she adores me – mutual adoration is a fun thing.
The Conversation:
Grandma: “…committing fortification and that is wrong.”
Me: “Grandma, you mean fornication.”
Grandma: “Isn’t that what I said?”
Me: “No, you said fortification. That means to make something strong. You mean fornication which is bad.”
Grandma: “Fornification?”
Me: “No, FOR-nication.”
We are both laughing really hard now.
Grandma: “Fortication?”
Me: “No, FOR-TTTTT-ification is to make something strong. That is good. FOR-NNN-ication is not good.”
TONS of giggling.
Grandma: “So fornification is what he was doing and fortication is good.”
Me: “No, fornication is what he was doing and fortification is good.”
Grandma: “Okay, fornication is bad.”
Me: “Yes, you got it.”
Grandma: “So he was committing fortication.”
Me: “No. Forn – think of thorn. Thorns are bad just like fornication.”
EVERYONE in the room is almost in tears because we are laughing so hard – especially Grandma.
Grandma: “Thornification? Thornication?”
Me: “Grandma, I think I should write this down for you when we get back to your house.”
I was mostly kidding about that but when we got home Grandma handed me paper and pencil and insisted I write both words and definitions down for her really big so she could get this figured out.
That is why Grandma is fun.
You can have a vocabulary lesson about words such as fornication and laugh the whole time. How many Grandmas are like that?”


Man am I going to miss this lady!


Thanks for all of the laughs Grandma Charlotte – you are one of my favorite ladies ever.  ❤️

Happy Monday, do you have a favorite memory of a loved on that needs to be shared?  I hope you will write up a favorite story today!


17 thoughts on “Farewell to the Spunkiest Grandma I’ve Ever Known”

  1. I am so sorry for your loss, Amberly. She does sound like a delightful woman. Two questions: dare I ask WHY she was using the word fornication? (I know—I am a troublemaker.) And wow, you were blogging back in 2008?? That’s amazing! I wonder who was the first genealogy blogger? When I started in 2013, I had never before read a genealogy blog!

    1. Thank you, Amy. Haha! Yes. She was upset with a close family member who was living with their significant other with no plans to marry because of financial reasons. She was not okay with that.

      Yes, I was blogging in 2008! But it was a blog centered on my immediate family. I started this blog in December of 2013. 🙂

      1. Too funny!

        And so your blog is about the same age as mine—I started in October 2013. The other one was private? Does it still exist?

        1. It does still exist, it’s not private yet, but I think I’m going to switch it to private since I’m not actively using it anymore, and too many strangers have become internet *friends* that don’t need that much detail about my children. 😉

          1. I can understand that (I haven’t looked at the blog, but I know what you mean). I almost never write anything about my children or any living relatives for that reason. Easier to write about the dead ones!

            1. Definitely! I started the other one because we moved from a place we had lived for a long time and it was a great way to keep up with old friends and let them keep up with us. But now there’s Facebook for that. 😉

  2. She sounds like a wonderful woman! Love this … “When you spend time with her you realize she is really 17 just in an 81 year old body.” I think I would like to be remembered as fun loving and young at heart. So very sorry for your loss. Hugs to you and your family.

    1. Thank you, Sue! She really was wonderful. Wouldn’t it be great to be remembered that way? My children will likely remember me as one who spent all of her time with “dead people” as they like to tease. Not quite so fun. 😉

  3. Amberly, I’m so sorry for the loss of your Grandma Charlotte. It’s particularly tough to lose a really lively person. And I know you’ve had your share of losses lately. Sending virtual hugs! You wrote a beautiful tribute here.

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