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those who impress upon us

We are woven from all the particles of the universe.  Countless stars and galaxies have cycled through time, entire life spans of new configurations, over and over again. Here we are, a mash of elements and every person before us and before them, each with our own elaborate story. Time seems like forever leading up to now.

Our family is made from the particles of artists, farmers, carpenters and metalworkers, moonshiners, animal-lovers, alcoholics, radical women, writers, teenage mothers, wily creative types who feel and think deeply, passionate lovers, hard workers and wanderers who left the cold places inching further west until ending up on the opposite side of the world to where I am today. 

It's been a year since my grandmother left - my hero, cheerleader, a viciously competitive card player, lover of Josh Groban, Michael Jackson, hot Latinos in tight pants, the color red, stuffed potatoes, hot water and chocolate, kisses and hugs, the bearer of the plastic spatula spanker who would grit her teeth in fury and rise to battle any real or perceived injustice, adventure girl, traveler, Sudoku master, deeply compassionate Franciscan Catholic with random, occasionally nude or pants-less homeless friends and a steady stream of rescue animals with peculiar medical needs, salt-and-pepper shaker collector, super Virgo and the one person in the world who we all know would never, ever fail us. Even though we know she's partying like a rock-star on the other side and continues to be our champion in times of need, we still miss her every day.  

September 18, 2012

On Monday, August 26, 1929 in Black River Falls, Wisconsin a 3 lb. baby was born in an outhouse outside the family farm. Not aware she was pregnant, her mother had stumbled outside with cramps and shortly thereafter, gave birth to Charlotte Anne Koehler. Sure she would not survive the night, her parents wrapped the tiny baby in blankets and put her in the oven to keep her warm.

This morning, 83 years, 6 children, 11 grand children, 3 great-grandchildren and many adventures later, my grandmother took a sip of hot water and finally her last breath. Anyone who knew her is all the better for it.


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