Wednesday, September 26, 2012

21 Years But Still in My Heart and Mind

21 years ago today, I lost my grandmother Charlotte Arlene (nee Leh) Beitler to ovarian cancer.  It's hard to believe that much time has passed...  The irony of September being ovarian cancer awareness month is not lost on me.

It makes me really sad because since I was only five at the time, I don't remember much about her.  But what I do remember is that she was a very warm, loving person.  I vaguely remember going to her house in Allentown for visits.  Mum tells me she was so thrilled to have a granddaughter, as I have to older brothers. 

At the time, when I was younger, and my father gave me her jewelry, I didn't really think that much of it.  Now that I am older, I appreciate it so much more.  It feels like it's my only link to her because I really don't remember being with her that much.  I feel as if I have a piece of her with me then.  I am also grateful that I have her trunk that Dad refinished for my sixteenth birthday.  I didn't really think anything of it at the time, but now it's a treasured collection along with her jewelry.  I only wish I could have had some of her clothes, especially her dress from her Honeymoon photo.

My grammy and me when I was 4 months old.

Tea time!  Is that an old Pepsi bottle?

Welcome home me!  With my mum, grandma, and older brothers.
We always lump our birthdays together.  Like my pink cast?
Always smiling.

Santa himself would be jealous of her festive red bow.

Time for presents!  And where did Cabbage Patch kids go?

Both my grandmothers, both gone now.

Happily rocking away.
Joint birthday for myself and my brother.
My mum and dad at their wedding with their mums.
My dad and grandma at their house in New York.

My dad as a wee lad with my grandma.

I love this coat!

Her hair and jewelry always looked so nice.

My grandma and grandpa Warren after they were just married.  I would kill for that outfit.  They were such a gorgeous couple.

Charlotte Arlene (nee Leh) Beitler
01 August 1922 - 26 September 1991

I have no grandparents left, which is more than a little sad for me.  I never even got to know either of my grandfathers at all, for they were gone before I was even born.  I definitely envy my older brothers, since they remember more about Grandma Beitler than I do.  My oldest brother even remembers her mother, our great-grandmother!  It does make me happy that my nephew has such a wonderful, caring grandmother in my mum.  Every child needs one.

The photo of me with the cast is hard for me to look at.  I didn't notice this before when I was younger, but I can tell now that she must have been pretty sick when it was taken.  I look close to five, if not already five, in that photo.  Her face was gaunt and she just didn't look well.  I hope she didn't suffer.  She was such an amazing woman, she didn't deserve that.  She should have been able to see her grandchildren grow and get married and have their own babies.

It's never easy as we get older, and our loved ones get older as well.  It makes me scared for my parents.  I want them to be alive to see me get married and have children.  It's definitely been a hard week for me.  First our beloved golden passed away on Saturday; yesterday I found out my very first pet, Midnight, has cancer; and today is the 21 anniversary of my loving grandmother passing.  One day at a time, I suppose...  I will always think of my grandma when I wear the jewelry (I have that heart pendant from above!) she left me with a big smile on my face and warmth in my heart.


  1. I love how this post honours your grandmother. I love all these vintage photos.

    <3 Melissa

    1. Thank you so much! I especially love the last two photos of her. She was such a beautiful, special lady. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

      xoxo Kristi