My husband had been saying for the past few months, with me nodding in agreement, that we really needed to plan a visit to see my Grandmother back in Michigan. Our only surviving Grandparent–who just celebrated her 89th birthday in October–we were convinced that the ability to visit with our family’s Matriarch is not something that should be taken for granted. Then a couple weeks ago, my Aunt informed us that Grandma had been to the ER three times in the past three weeks with vey high blood pressure – which we later learned were spikes resulting from her Parkinsons, followed up by 1 to 2 mini strokes.
Upon receiving the news, I immediately asked my Hubby, “When are we going to go and visit Grandma?”
“In two weeks,” Mike responded on our way back from a wedding in Louisiana. His answer likely would’ve been sooner, had he not been leaving for a week long business trip in California the following day, and I preparing to work a weekend conference in Dallas.
It had been two years since our last trip to Michigan, and that was amidst a whirlwind of a wedding and introducing Mike to as many family and friends that could be squeezed in over a few short days. Since Grandma was the reason for this trip, it had a very different pace due to that purpose. Between Grandma visits, it was a blessing that reconnections worked out with just a few family members and old friends that we weren’t able to see either during our last visit to MI or at our wedding. In fact, I got to meet a couple of friend’s kiddos that I’d only seen pictures of, and visit with a couple of dear childhood friends that I hadn’t seen in decades. Wow — I suddenly feel old! Wish we could’ve seen everyone we wanted to, but it’s never possible with quick planning and short visits…boo…
We were also excited that we could put the new camera that we scored recently, especially for business purposes (thank you Ritz/Wolf Camera, and sorry it was on account of your going-out-of-business sale), the Sony a77. The more that we use it, the more we learn, and enjoy the benefits of a phat D-SLR camera that we’ve been dreaming of for years! Yes, this is far cry from my original Canon Sure Shot that I toted around Europe in 1997, featuring the world’s slowest shutter – HA! Besides our Sony’s slick photos (24.3 megapixels) – the highlights of which I’m posting here (along with few iPhone photos interspersed) – we also were able to do something I’ve talked about for years: We recorded an “interview” with Grandma, collecting family history and memories that we can cherish for years to come – on Blu-Ray! The interview needs to be edited still, which has some classic Grandma moments, but photos are ready now.
Me and Grandma
Our visit with Grandma, at her apartment in Assisted Living
Aunt Nancy and Uncle John, my Mom’s youngest sister and her husband, joined us out for a great burger at Bagger Daves – courtesy of Grandma.
3 out of 5 of the Bialowicz family joined us for dinner. Glad my cousin came out, so I could quiz her for her test on diseases — great dinner conversation LOL!
Our waitress offered to take our photo – and ended up standing on a chair behind a booth to capture this family moment. She said we were one of her favorite tables she had served – how sweet!
Last time I was around this little guy, he was in Romina’s tummy when she was in my wedding last year! Look how much he’s grown up — I love the curls and those cheeks!
Glad we got together at the Profeta’s on Saturday night, so the kids could play while the adults could try to catch up on the time that we’ve been apart.
Oh my goodness! The youngest Ruselink, I totally enjoyed meeting the little boy who shares the same name as our Godson – Jacob Richard!
Jeff and I served up beverages in the basement, courtesy of Charlie Sheen
If Charlie Sheen as Bartender wasn’t unsettling enough, Romina suddenly sprouted a pair of horns
And if the last 2 pics weren’t disconcerting enough, Beatle pulls out the big guns here with the Sheen ear kiss…
Old friends reunited! We tried to FaceTime in our 4th compadre, Sarah, but missed each other this time – boo
Boys will be (cute) boys!
What a great family! Thanks for coming out, Ruselinks!
Grandma and her Grandson, Brian, during Sunday family get together at Chris & Jen’s
This is how we all “get together” in my family, since we all so spread out: Utilizing technology to chat, and all get an opportunity to wish my Dad a very “Happy Birthday” on his actual birthday
Some of the Michigan men of the family, chatting with the Florida family
Yeah, this usually happens at some point in the conversation as well. Classic. Love my nieces!
Our cousins, Marie with little Bianca, and new friend London!
I was so glad that my cousin, Krystal, and her little Bianca also came to join us — I can’t remember when I last saw Krystal, and never had met sweet and funny Bianca!
We wished a Happy Birthday to Grandma, Jennifer, and Dad
How nice of Aunt Karen and Uncle Bob to come into town for a visit! Wish we would’ve had more time to visit, but really enjoyed the time we had nonetheless!
Our great host & hostess, Chris & Jen, with Grandma
I love this pic of two that I love!
After all these years, childhood friends back together again. So great to visit with Jenny again, and pick back up where we left off
Another dear childhood friend, Heather, that we were able to reconnect with. You know it’s been too long when you can’t recognize each other’s voices! So glad we could see you this time around!
And one BONUS PIC… My cousin, Marie, ever so thoughtful, so sweetly finds new ways to honor the memory of my Mother. Besides Au Gratin potatoes and a delish Lemon Cake for lunch, she brought this great photo for me to have. It is of my Mom and Grandma together at a wedding in what we think was 2007. Simply beautiful!
Mom and Grandma – they resembled each other so much!
Thanks, friends and family, for the wonderful time to reminisce over old memories and make fabulous new ones!