Monday, January 28, 2013

Back and Ready to Blog!

Hello everyone!

I know it has been quite a long since I've blogged but it was well-needed time. Thank you for everyone's love and support during these hard times. It was amazing to see how all of my family and friends came together to support my family and me. It is true: small acts do never go unseen. :)

To make my blog more uniform I am going to blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday! Quality over quantity right?! However, sometimes I might throw in a couple of extra blogs for fun.

I thought it would be nice to let everyone read my speech that I said at my grandma's funeral. I just completely copy and pasted it and when I say it I naturally change things but here is the written version. (I was beyond nervous to talk but it turned out well I think.)

Thank you all for coming today to celebrate the life of my grandma. I am Jodie, Leah Keel’s youngest granddaughter. 

In the summer of 1997, my parents were busy opening the current location of the dance studio so my Grandma and Grandpa Keel gladly took us in. My sisters and I loved that summer...especially because we got to eat... a lot. Each morning we walked downstairs to find our over-easy eggs, Jimmy Dean sausages, and warm biscuits. Each day surrounded around eating. While Grandma cooked one of her many delicious dinners, we would beg our Grandpa to let us have our ice cream bars. Grandma would say to wait until after dinner, but Grandpa always convinced her to let us have them. My favorite was the strawberry shortcake, Jamie of course loved the chocolate, and Jessie ate both. Once our parents had time to really look us over at the end of the summer, they realized they were taking home three very plump little girls. Our faces were much rounder and we had a nice thick layer of chub... everywhere. We got pretty fat. 

Everyone knows that Grandma Keel is the queen of cooking. She spoiled us as little girls and continued to do so even at our ages now. Whether if you’re with her for five minutes or all day, you will leave her with a very full belly and a huge smile. I was so lucky to live with her for the last seven years of her life so this was a common occurrence for me. 

The biggest way my grandma and I bonded was through cooking. I seemed to have inherited this trait of the love to cook from both of my grandmas. When my grandma keel and I would cook together, I would try to write down the recipe but it was always so difficult because she didn’t use specific amounts of things like a cup of this or a tablespoon of that. She would say just put as much as you think is right, then you taste it and add whatever else you need. I can’t even try to count the times she cooked for me or we cooked together. Last summer, I noticed she wasn’t well when I asked her to make kimbap together but she said she was very tired and we would the next day. I had never heard her turn down cooking before. A few weeks later, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. These past five months I was in her house everyday, unless I wasn’t home. Each day I would come into her house, give her her shots and check her temperature and blood pressure and every time I finished she would say “Thank you nurse” with a huge smile. My grandma and I both looked forward to our little routine together every day. 

When it finally sank in that she wasn’t going to be able to defeat this disease, she told my mom she wanted to be at our weddings and especially at my graduation. All I wanted was for her to be at my graduation. I won’t be able to look out into the audience and see her sitting in a seat next to my family or bend down like I always do when I have heals on to hug her. But I know that she will be there. Because she lives on through me, my sisters, my mom, and through all of you. Each one of us have our own special memories of Grandma Keel. We will cherish them forever.

I believe everyone’s ultimate goal in life is to love and to be loved. If this was my grandma’s goal, she accomplished this above and beyond. From these past five months, I have learned crying is okay, but there comes a time when we need to begin to live again. The only way to truly remember those who have passed is by showing them our appreciation for life. 
We all have two choices now:
  1. Cry because she is gone and turn your back on the world she loved,
  2. Or smile because she lived an amazing life and try to love as much as she did. 
Grandma Keel may be gone but she remains in all of our hearts forever. 

Be ready on Wednesday for a new post!

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