I see glimpses of you everywhere I go. I was just talking to my husband today about how you were a "different" grandmother, one that would take me to any movie I wanted to see, that would let me pick out whatever I wanted at the grocery store when I would come to stay with you as a kid, one that would listen intently as I talked to you about anything and everything. You were so funny. Your sense of humor never got old. Your eccentric taste in style, clothing, and furniture was the best. I still have that ceramic giraffe you gave me. It puts a smile on my face every time I see it.
I remember looking up to you in a way I've never looked up to another person. I looked forward to every visit with you. When we were living in Iowa, we were so far away from you, but our visits were the best. You would play with Brandon, Andrea, and I like you were one of the kids. Your imagination was just like ours and I remember looking at you with a childlike wonder. You were a woman I loved and loved to be around - my Gram.
When Tyler was born, it was a couple months before you were able to come out to Iowa to see him. I remember the first time you saw him. You cried and said how beautiful he was. It was true - he was beautiful and still is. He's grown into a wonderful young man. You would be so proud of him.
I cherish those times when I was in college and lived so close to you. After Gramp would go to bed, we'd stay up half the night talking. I could tell you anything and you'd give me honest, real-world advice. I learned so many things about you - how you went to nursing school but ultimately became a dental hygienist, a job you hated. You showed me old pictures of my mother and my uncle. My mother has some of your features. Everyone says I look just like her. That makes me happy.
You would always call me by my first and middle name, Kristin Lynne. I think you were proud that I was named after my mother and your husband. And Tyler Lee, he's named after you.
I'm sorry you couldn't be at my wedding, but I will forever remember that day in the nursing home as we went through my wedding photos together. Remember that day? Justin dropped his cell phone in the trash can. We laughed so hard over that.
I was so happy to be there with you that night in the hospital. Tyler was there, Justin was there, your two kids were there. I held your hand. We sat around telling the chaplain about you after you were gone. How you loved the color pink. How you loved jewelry and anything that sparkled. How you could talk to anyone. What a good wife, mother, and grandmother you had been.
You were more than my grandmother, you were a best friend I could confide in. We had some of the best times together and I will cherish them for the rest of my life. I'm so glad you got to know Justin. We've been married for three years now. He works at a church, just like he always said he would. I'm going back to school. You probably wouldn't be surprised by that! Brandon has a great job and met a great girl. Tyler just graduated from high school - Gramp was there. He misses you more than anything.
I miss you.
I love you.
Don't forget, you were the best and knowing you made my life that much sweeter.
Your granddaughter, Kristin
Nancy Lee Landesman
January 16, 1939 - July 31, 2013