Week 8: Grandma Huninghake

My grandmother died a year ago today so I wanted to share some thoughts and memories.

Some Memories:

    • I remember waking up in her house with the smell of breakfast and listening to her and my mom catch up and laugh together. This happened every time we went to visit her.
    • When I was in the 7th grade and 6 foot 2 (I had grown a mind-boggling amount the previous summer) I was slumping around her house and she looked at me and said, “don’t ever be ashamed of your height!” and I straightened up and have been proud to be taller than average since. I don’t think she ever knew what those few words meant coming from her.
    • We would always drive by a sign that said 30 some odd miles to Nebraska and I finally got up the nerve to tell her I had never been to Nebraska and wanted to go. So, instead of turning towards town, she just kept on driving until we hit Nebraska then we turned around and drove back.
    • In the early years of high school, my cousin Bryce and I got into building model rockets and shooting them off. She loved when we shot the rockets off.   She was our count down person and she would literally jump as she said, “3, 2, 1” and when the rocket flew into the sky she would cheer and laugh.
From Week 8.1
    • When I stayed in Kansas for a week or two at any of the 8 homes at my disposal, I would always be woken up by her bringing in a fresh gallon of Robert’s Milk (the brand in Kansas is “Robert’s Milk) and a box of whatever my favorite cereal was at that time.
    • When in Kansas, she felt it her obligation to make sure I saw everyone.  That’s a lot of seeing in our family.
From Week 8.1
  • As I got older and was in college and seminary we would sit around her kitchen table after supper and talk about anything and everything. The conversation would usually turn to God and our thoughts about God/church. She was the most religious person I have ever known…and the most Catholic person I have ever known, which makes me very happy.

I have my grandmother’s hands, as does my mother and brother. All of our pointer fingers and middle fingers twist away from our thumb.  It’s a nice permanent reminder of how we are all connected.

From Week 8.1

As my relationship with my mother has become more of a phone relationship I can hear Grandma’s voice in her voice. She also has been saying the most insightful phrases when I tell her a problem, just like Grandma. “You can never get stuck in the truth” and “there will always be somebody better than you and somebody not as good as you are.”  I can see my Grandmother living on through my mother and the rest of the Huninghake family and that gives me great peace.

I was with her when she died last year at 1:14 AM October 29th. I was honored to be there with her and two of my uncles. The most surreal part of it was then calling the person who had given birth to me to tell her that the person who had given birth to her had died.

I returned with my family to the hotel around 4:30 AM to rest a bit then we had to leave early to make the hour drive to Frankfort where the rest of the family was waiting for us. I remember as we walked out to the car that morning watching the sunrise slowly in the north Kansas sky and being reminded of Easter Sunday morning. That was the most profound and comforting sunrise I have ever seen.

From Week 8.1

6 Responses to “Week 8: Grandma Huninghake”

  1. Jason October 29, 2008 at 2:09 pm #

    >Thanks for sharing, Robert, those are some beautiful memories. You can also clearly see what a wonderful person you are in that post. I hope things are going well, my friend.

  2. Richelle Huninghake October 29, 2008 at 5:33 pm #

    >I remember Grandma’s apple pies and how at holidays she always made two and one was always just for me. I went and put flowers on her grave last night since I can’t make it to church tonite because of school, but I think Grandma would understand. She was always so happy to see me when she was in the hospital and I would walk in with my nursing school uniform on, I could always tell how proud she was of me. She always knew how to made each one of feel special in some way!

  3. Anonymous October 29, 2008 at 6:17 pm #

    >Robert, we keep talking about how much Grandma would love your blog and your whole Kenya experience. She’d tell you to take a lot of pictures! She’d be very proud of you.Steph

  4. Anonymous October 30, 2008 at 1:16 am #

    >If everyone remembers correctly, Grandma didn’t have the best hearing (especially in her last few years). I can remember multiple times me asking her a question like “Do you have a kleenex Grandma?” and she would respond, “Just a second let me look, its 6:45″ She didn’t quite hear me correctly…lol It always made me laugh :) I also loved when one day she came over to me, saying that our TV remote didn’t work. Well…what she thought was a TV remote was Richelle’s cell phone. I loved how she was so old fashioned. Pillow cases were as good as saran wrap, homemade bread-I never saw a store bought loaf of bread at her house (mmmm), aluminum foil was reusable (as well as zip lock bags), and everyone must eat all their food! :)Amy

  5. Anonymous October 30, 2008 at 2:52 am #

    >Grandma would be so proud of you! Lisa

  6. Wendy November 22, 2008 at 4:39 am #

    >A very beautiful rememberance. She sounds like a wonderful person, much like you.I didn’t know anyone else’s fingers curved like that. My pointer fingers do too.

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