Today we celebrate the amazing life of my grandmother Darlene Fisher. She was the daughter of Ren and Laura Olsen – and a proud native of Montana. She was the youngest sibling of Iola, Rose, Anona, Bert, Verle, Lester, George, Duane and Lula. She was the wife of Glen, Don and Leroy. She was the loving mother of Terry, Rick and Glenna Kae and mother-in-law to Dorothy, Bonnie, Patti and Ray. She was a grandma, a great grandma, a great-great grandma, a step-mom, a sister-in-law, an aunt, a cousin, and a friend.
Her life was full of wonderful experiences. She traveled the world and enjoyed visiting new places and meeting new people. She loved to read, play card games, garden, crochet and sew. She never finished high school but she was one of the smartest people I’ve known – you never wanted to play her in jeopardy because she always got the questions right. Grandma had a joyful laugh and was a fun-loving spirit. And she was the kind of woman that would always put other’s needs before her own – she was warm and compassionate and always went out of her way to help others.
As a child, grandma was like a second mother – drying my tears, showering me with love and teaching me values and respect. As an adult, grandma became my best friend, advisor and confidante. She always encouraged me to work hard, follow my dreams and face problems head on. She was a proud woman who believed that there was no obstacle that couldn’t be overcome.
As we celebrate Grandma’s life today, we also mourn for our loss. Dementia didn’t take grandma from us two weeks ago. Dementia started taking her from us many years ago. Not all at once. But a day at a time. Piece by piece. Memory by memory. It has been a very long, hard good-bye. My parents, my uncle Terry, my aunt Dorothy, my uncle Rick and aunt Patti have been in the trenches caring for grandma for many years as she battled dementia.
But despite all that dementia took from her. There are two key pieces of grandma that it NEVER could take: her strength or her love. And today I remember what made grandma, grandma.