Grandma Theresa

My Grandmother Theresa Williams was a wonderful, Kind and generous woman. She passed away today. I was able to say my final goodbye to her on Monday. Allison was too and we brought Grandma a photo of Eva, it made her smile. Her eyes lit up when she saw the photo and she said how pretty Eva was, she so loved Eva. She then faded back to deal with the pain she was in. I told her that we all loved her and said my goodbye.

I’m 35 and up until today I have not had one grandparent die in my lifetime. I’ve been really lucky. Eva has been lucky as well because when she was born she had 4 grandparents and 8 great-grandparents. She was very lucky. Today we lost our Grandmother, Mother, Wife and Friend. Today is a sad day.

I do have many happy memories and some I’d like to share. Forgive me that they are rambling but they are cathartic for me to get out and remember many memories are just for me.

Photo-A-Day #803 06/20/07
I attribute my love for Transformers and my large collection of them to my Grandmother

My Grandmother was instrumental on introducing me to something that has been a part of my life since I was ten years old. Transformers. Grandma gave me my first transformer, WheelJack and my second, Optimus Prime. I can still remember playing with those toys in the guest bedroom of my grandparents old house in Wareham, MA. That room had three beds, two regular size and one that was small that we called the Goldilocks bed. That house and the memories from it are some of my best childhood memories. I remember playing with my Transformers, fishing with Grandpa Dick on his boat. Walking on water, corn on the cob, playing pool, swimming, waterskiing (I watched but never was any good at it), catching little toads, raking out the muck at the beach, Glen Charley Pond, Glen Charley the giant snapping turtle (I never saw but heard much about him), “cut it!” (That was more a memory of Grandpa, but still), Crepes (my grandmother made the most delicious crepes in the world), Spirograph, Bachman pretzel sticks, mushroom pizza from our favorite restaurant in Wareham, Bradlees, Goldilocks Bed, Coloring a Snoopy book with markers.

As kids my sisters and I would often spend weekends with my grandparents at this house. We’d head down and go to the supermarket. Grandma and Grandpa would buy us whatever cereals, snacks and dinners we wanted that week. We’d always have crepes, we’d often have Oreos and each time we’d go to a pizza place for mushroom pizza, I can still taste it.

Grandma's Family
Grandma and Grandpa at my wedding with my Mom, Aunts and Uncles.

As kids we often went to spend time with Grandma at her house in Attleboro, MA. The home was a three family that my Mom, aunt and uncles grew up in, my parents lived there before and a little after I was born. I remember the smell of the house, sort of a Lemon Pledge, smoke, and Pewter mix. My grandfather spun pewter and they had a business where they sold the things he made as well as pewter figurines. Sometimes I would help grandma pack up the pewter figurines, sometimes she gave me some of them. She had a typewriter that she let me play on, so I guess I can attribute my typing skills to her. I remember afternoons watching the Banana Splits and cartoons, eating cheez-its, saltines pretzels and ginger ale (always ginger ale). We would have large meals around the dining room table that had a lazy Susan. Grandma always had olives for me too.

Plenty of Olives
Always had those olives for me.

I loved eating around that table, everyone laughing having a great time and being together. I loved that table and the memories around it so much that when the house was sold and the furniture was divided I asked Grandma for the table for my home so that I could create wonderful memories for my family around it. It sits in our dining room right now and has a lot to live up to.

Around the Table
One of many meals had around this table with such rich family history

Grandma didn’t like to fly but she did fly once. She and Grandpa took me to Walt Disney World when I was 10 years old (1984 was the best year ever). Grandpa had a video camera that was so big. The camera was attached to the recording device that had to be carried over the shoulder. I remember us walking all over Disney and Grandpa recording everything. We had an incredible trip.

Having family close is important to me. I grew up surrounded by people who took an interest in the things that I was doing, Grandma and Grandpa came to all of my plays in High School. They were at every graduation and significant event.

My Graduation
My College Graduation

Even at my wedding Grandma and Grandpa danced. They had been married 58 years at that point. Grandma was in a wheelchair most of the time but she and grandpa danced.

58 Years and Still Dancing
Grandma and Grandpa dancing at my wedding.

My grandmother was always generous. We’d open our gifts from Grandma and Grandpa on Christmas Eve. There would practically be no room for Santa to leave anything for Christmas morning. Grandma and Grandpa would scour the Eastern Seaboard on their trips to and from Florida for stores that had the latest Transformers, Cabbage Patch Kids and Holiday Barbies for us kids.

Happy 60th
Grandma and Grandpa celebrate 60 years

It was hard to see her get sick, be bed ridden for so long. I had a hard time finding things to talk about with her when I could talk with her about many things before. I have a really hard time when people are sick thinking of what to say.

Allison was a big help to finding the right things to say. Allison took up one of Grandma’s favorite hobbies, knitting. Allison knew that if Grandma liked what she was working on then she had won approval from the master. Then Eva came along and I was so glad that Grandma was able to meet her and see her begin to grow. This past Easter was a nice one where Eva was 1st able to search of Easter Eggs, an activity that Grandma loved watching us do. I think I participated in the Easter egg hunt up until age 25 or so. Each year I’d say, I’m too old, I’m not doing it but would end up searching the house for change and candy filled eggs. It made Grandma happy.

While you want your family to stay the way it is when you were a kid and you want your parents and grandparents to live forever, it just doesn’t happen. I will miss Grandma Theresa very much. I do take comfort that she is now at peace.

Now her family must carry on and pass on those great memories of Grandma to the next generation. Already Tara and Shelby promised to teach Eva to crochet and Eva will be sleeping on the Goldilocks bed when she goes to the Cape (once she can sleep in beds).

Photo-A-Day #968 12/02/07
Grandma and Eva in 2007

We will miss you Grandma, thank you for everything.

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43 Responses to “Saying Goodbye to Grandma Theresa”

  1. Melissa says:

    Drew-
    What a nice tribute to your grandma. It was very touching to read.

  2. Christine says:

    I am very sorry for your family’s loss. She indeed sounded like a great lady.

    My thoughts are with your family.

    Christines last blog post..Mike is back in the hospital

  3. Chica says:

    What a beautiful tribute. Everyone needs a grandma like her, what a great woman she sounds to be. :)

  4. brettbum says:

    Hey Drew, I’m terribly sorry to hear about the passing of your grandma. I lost my grandfather, the first of my grandparents to pass away, a few years ago and the impact of his passing is still there. Its not something that goes away, but remembering him and acknowledging how lucky I am to have my other grandparents does help me stay focused on the important things in life.
    You have always seemed like a pretty balanced guy yourself, I suspect your grandma and grandparents had a big part in that, so even has you and your family find the way to move forward, she’ll still be with you helping to guide and influence you.

    Your friend,
    Brett

  5. Michele says:

    Drew,

    This is a beautiful way to remember your grandmother. I am so sorry that she has passed away. I am typing this with tears in my eyes and can only hope that I will be so fondly remembered when it’s my time to go.

    Hugs,
    Michele

  6. Drew says:

    Melissa,
    Thank you very much. When I learned that she was failing today I just started writing my thoughts and memories.

  7. Drew says:

    Christine,
    Thank you very much. I hope that Mike is doing better, I see that your latest post says that he is back in the hospital.

  8. Drew says:

    Chica,
    Thanks a lot. She was a wonderful woman, it was very hard to see her failing in her later years. She was always a bundle of energy.

  9. Drew says:

    Brett,
    As ever you get right to the root of the issue. I appreciate your thoughts and words. Thank you.

  10. Drew says:

    Michele,
    Thank you. I wish the same for when it is my time to go. Thanks for being such a great friend to us.

  11. Anna says:

    I’m so sorry, Drew. Your grandma sounded like a wonderful lady, and I know you will miss her.

    Annas last blog post..A Random Lunch Story

  12. Drew says:

    Anna,
    Thank you, she was a wonderful woman. And we certainly will miss her.

  13. Karen says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Drew. She sounds like she was full of life and a big part of who you are. Your post is a wonderful tribute. I’ll bet she is smiling in heaven.

  14. Drew says:

    Karen,
    Thank you so much for your sentiments. I hope that she is smiling up in heaven enjoying everything that she used to enjoy doing.

  15. Awesome post and tribute to your grandma. She sounded really sweet. I’ll bet she’s so proud of you.

    I’m glad you had lots of time to spend with her. (I wish I had more time with my grandparents.)

  16. Drew says:

    Bryan,
    Thank you. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t get time to spend with your grandparents. I consider myself atypical and pretty lucky to have been able to spend such time with them. Grandma was really sweet. We loved her so much.

  17. Mo says:

    Drew, this is an amazing tribute to such a wonderful person in your life. I’m so sorry for your loss. You are all in my heart and prayers.

  18. Drew says:

    Thank you very much Mo,
    She was a wonderful person. Thanks for the prayers. I hope that your mom is doing better.

  19. John Botelho says:

    Hi Drew,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Your tribute was wonderful. It was evident what an integral part of your life your grandmother was. The memories you have will keep her with you forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  20. Drew says:

    John,
    Thanks you very much. Grandma Theresa was very much a big influence on my life. We will miss her. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

  21. Alli says:

    Sweet post, Drew. Sounds like an awesome woman and great Grandmother. I remember saying goodbye to my Nana. I wish my boys had been able to meet her.

    Allis last blog post..Placeholder

  22. Drew says:

    Thank you Alli.
    Sorry that your Nana wasn’t able to meet your boys. I bet she was a wonderful woman too.

  23. Baba says:

    So sorry for your loss. Grandma Theresa sounds like a very lovely woman, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. I am sure you will keep her memory alive in your heart and Eva will know what a fabulous great-grandmother she had. You are very lucky to have had her with you for so long.

    Babas last blog post..Cool Giveaways

  24. Drew says:

    Baba,
    Thank you for the kind words about my Grandmother. We will be sure to tell Eva all about her.

  25. […] Saying Goodbye to Grandma Theresa […]

  26. missbhavens says:

    Oh, Drew I’m so sorry. What a beautiful woman Theresa was!

    So wonderful that she got to know wee Eva and that she was such a big part of your lives while she was here.

  27. Drew says:

    Thanks MissB,
    I appreciate the sentiments. It is wonderful that she was able to spend time with Eva. She really loved Eva so much. Eva always made Grandma Smile.

  28. Drew, I’m so sorry to read about your Grandma passing, but your post is a wonderful tribute to her. I can tell that her spirit will continue to go on with you and your family. Sending my love and prayers to you all.

    ConnieFoggless last blog post..Blog Giveaways 5/25/09

  29. crystal says:

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    Grandma Theresa is beautiful!!
    I am 32 and so many things about your pictures and grandparents are so similar to my own(like the olives)..grandparents are definitely on the top of the SPECIAL list;)
    Your daughter is adorable,so glad that they met too.
    Bright Blessings to you and your family

  30. Drew says:

    Connie,
    Thank you for your prayers. I hope that this serves as a way for not only me but my family to remember how wonderful she was.

  31. Drew says:

    Crystal,
    Thank you for sharing your special list and thoughts with me. Thank you also for your blessings for our family.

  32. Anoo says:

    So sorry to hear about this, Drew. You’re in my thoughts today. Thank you for sharing.

  33. Drew says:

    Thank you Andrew,
    We’ve been really enjoying going through the photos of grandma and talking about them. She was always one to bring the family closer. And she is still doing so.

  34. Grandfather says:

    Drew, wonderful words about Grandma, we all loved her very much. But I’m sure that she loved you more than you could ever imagine. I remember those family meals long before you were born. She always had to make sure everyone was taken care of before she would sit down, that annoyed the heck out me and I would try and at least put food on her plate. She would always make sure I had a drink, I guess she figured I needed one. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer Mother in law. I like to tell the story of the time before we were married. Grandma and I were remodeling the third floor apartment. She said something to me about how I should have cut something and I got mad. And as you know I don’t usually don’t get mad. There was an old cast iron tub in the way and I picked it and threw it across the room, She just looked and didn’t say a thing. From then on I’m sure there were times she didn’t like some of things I did, but I think she never dared to say anything. As I always told her ” I was her favorite son in law and she was my favorite Mother in law. You, Tara, Shelby and your cousins have been fortunate to have had such a wonderful woman as a Grandmother.

  35. Drew says:

    Dad,
    I remember that story about the cast iron tub. I’m pretty sure that if you did that in front of anyone they’d pretty much let you alone after.

    Grandma never did sit till well into the meal. She was always zooming around making sure that everything was out and ready. Good thing she had you to make sure she at least ate something.

  36. Ned Dusablon says:

    Drew,

    Sad times, indeed. Your grandmother will be missed. She lived a good life and was always surrounded by a loving and caring family. I hope you and your family will be comforted by all the pleasant memories she left us with.

    I was lucky when I was a kid to have lots of family at 297 South Main. We had my grandparents (George and Julia Dusablon) living on the top floor, your grandparents (Theresa and Dick, along with your Mom and Uncles Richard and Jim and Aunt Luann) living on the middle floor, and your great-grandparents (Meme and Pepe) living on the bottom floor, along with Uncle Richard Belanger (a wonderful person who we all miss).

    Lots of summertime cookouts (if I remember correctly your Grandmother loved sweet corn on the cob!), riding bikes or just playing around the neighborhood (the gravel pit that used to be across the street was always fun), and a really nice Doughboy swimming pool in the backyard to help beat the heat.

    Christmas and New Years around there were always wonderful as kids and even as we became adults because of the family parties and get-togethers our families would have. It seemed just the way things should be and now that the older relatives are passing away, I hope you and your sisters carry on that tradition somehow. And let’s not forget: your Grandmother made a pretty good French-Canadian meat pie, something we all looked forward to on those holiday visits! I hope your mother has that recipe stashed away somewhere.

    I also remember some family camping trips to Lake Winnepesaukee in NH and to Long Lake in Maine, visits to the Lake Glen Charley house in Wareham (great swimming and canoeing), and motel trips to the Green Granite in North Conway, NH when I was really small (I only remember some raccoons hanging upside down on a clothesline).

    Well, guess this is a huge data dump by now. Please accept our condolences. We’ll miss her. And give our best to your Grandfather, and all of your family in Massachusetts.

    Andrew, Stephen, Olga, and Ned Dusablon

  37. Drew says:

    Ned,
    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and memories about Grandma Theresa. She certainly will be missed. I like to think that now she’s probably taking care of a large family meal with all those who have gone before, followed by a game of cards. We will certainly pass along your wishes for the family. Thank you.

  38. […] Saying Goodbye to Grandma Theresa […]

  39. richard williams jr. says:

    drew grandma was very proud of you and loves you ,allison and eva very much. thank you very much for sharing your memories with us. grandma so much loved her family unconditionally, grandpa use to kid with her because she did everything right, she was my perfect mother, in my eyes she gave me level headed sound advice,when i went to her for advice.she truly always was and is so proud of all of her family. grandma and grandpa loved taking your mom,me,jim and lu to the park, we all love the animals and i can remember running around the big field and grandpa and grandma playing ball or chasing us and having so much fun and laughing. when you talk about the park some of the pictures im going to give you to scan are from before i was born ans she was at the park with her friends. every year for mothers day we would hop in the car and go to bensons wild animal farm in n.h. we had so much fun. grandma and grandpa loved to take us kids to jolly jollys in no. att., cow boy town, crescent park, and rocky point, great places where families went and had fun. denise jim luann and I were truly blessed. grandma and grandpa worked hard because they didnt have much but we had family that was there goal to provide for a better education and sending us to college that was so important and something we talked about often when we sat doum at 5’oclock meal. grandma and grandpa first sent us to catholic school at st. joeseph and then to bishop feehan. grandma and grandpa wanted us kids to have the opportunity that they didnt have , they loved us, and i didnt really realize it until i went to college and had the time to reflect on our family. every sunday the family would get toghether at meme and pepe,s uncle ernest uncle richard aunt julia and uncle george, ed and fran dusablone and kids, in which i have many fond memories of edmond jokes and humor and frans laughter and joy she brought i miss fran and i know my mom and dad miss her very much. Now grandma and fran and her 2 brothers and meme and pepe are in heaven.grandma taught us to kneel and pray for being so blessed evey night , of course after brushing our teeth and washing our face and hands and after we prayed she would tuck us in bed ,kiss ea. of us and say to us she loved us. i have so many memories to share with you and i will share them later, but she loved each and every grandchild and her great grandchildren eva and logan that she radiated when were all together

  40. Drew says:

    Thank you Uncle Rich.
    Those memories that you shared were wonderful. Look forward to talking more about Grandma later today and in the days to come.

  41. Maureen Bussiere O'Driscoll says:

    Drew, I don’t think I’ve seen you since you were very small, but I have many of the same wonderful memories of Wareham and the lake and your Grandma. When I think of my parents, Maurice and Alice, and your Grandparents, together, I have to smile. They were forever joking around! They were more than extended family, they were truly friends. They especially enjoyed each others company, and more than anything, I remember their laughter whenever they were together! Your Grandma was a very kind, sweet lady. I just want to say, I will remember her fondly.

  42. Drew says:

    Maureen,
    Thanks you so much, I remember your Mom and Dad because they spent so much time with my grandparents. I do remember the joking around and the feeling of family with everyone who came to the house. Thank you so much for stopping here and leaving a comment about Grandma Theresa.

  43. […] had a wonderful day at the park and then headed home for a memorial mass for Grandma Theresa. I think that Fr. Dave’s homily hit both Allison and I right where we needed and I’m […]