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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Me Too Grandma, Me Too.

My grandmother, Eleanor Becker aka “Grandma Jingles” was born on April 19, 1922. She was the last of four children and a welcome surprise. Her farming family didn’t own a car and she tells me stories about going to church on Christmas Eve in a horse drawn sleigh.
While her three elder siblings ended their education at the eight grade level my grandmother wanted more. At 14 she left the family farm to move into town to work as a maid. During the day she was able to go to high school and in the afternoon and evenings she cooked and cleaned in exchange for a bed to sleep in.
After she graduated from high school she continued working for one year so that she could save up the $32 that was required to attend nursing school. The students were referred to by their last name. Becker was shortened to “Becky”~ a name that she still goes by today.
She tells of the starched caps, pinned aprons, and seamed stockings that were required of the uniform in those days. It took over an hour to prepare each day.  Needless to say she thinks scrubs are “sloppy and shameful to the profession”. :)
After graduating with a degree in nursing she began working 12 hour rounds in a hospital. One of her patients was a elderly man named Andrew Ingalls. She took such good care of him that when he was discharged he insisted that she come to his home for supper. Andrew had a son, Roy. Roy Ingalls was tall and had wonderfully wavy hair. Nurses at the time were not supposed to have ANY social life at all. But Roy was persistent. My grandmother became Becky Ingalls when they married under a veil of secrecy right before he left for the war.
Upon his return they had three children, Paul my father, Kathy and George. Life, as it does, had its up and downs.
Roy and Becky celebrated many, many anniversaries together before he passed away several years ago.
Late last year I told Grandma we would have a party for her birthday. I got resistance at first. Then excitement. It was hard when I had to tell her several months ago that due to our current family issues I would be unable to come. She understood as she always does.
But God would have NONE of that. I called her up just two weeks ago and said, “Grandma I got your birthday present today.”
“You did?” She said, her voice ringing with excitement and glee.
“Yep. I am going to put a big ole bow on myself.” I laughed.
“What are you saying? Are you coming?” Her excitement mounting.
“I’m coming. We are going to celebrate. We are going to have a party.” Her excitement contagious.
“We are?” She inquired.
“Yes. We are.” I happily said.
We hung up soon after as I had to collect Sweet Boy from school.
The phone rang shortly after we got home.
“Laura, it’s Grandma. I’ve told ALL the girls here at the home. We are all so excited! Do you think I could have a white cake with pink roses? I’ve always wanted one. If it’s not too much trouble.”
“A white cake with pink roses it is. It’s no trouble at all.”  I squeaked out as I was so happy I was close to tears. 

The next day.
“Laura, it’s Grandma. Do you think we could have a fruit tray too?”
“Yes, Grandma we can absolutely have a fruit tray.” I could barely choke out.

c88b798acf2c316e68d87b81050058ce.jpg 361×480 pixels

The day after that.
“Laura, do you think we could have pink lemonade to drink?"  She inquired.
"That sounds really good Grandma."  My heart has never been so full.

Homemade Pink Lemonade | This is awesome! Perfect for that "summer" that's right around the corner :)
And the day after that.
"Laura, is it possible that we might have a few games since the party will occur during the time we normally play bingo.”
"Of course Grandma."
Several bingo cards in various colors and tickets to print for free. vintage aged ephemera

I think you are catching on. She’s excited.
"You know Laura, some of the residents never get visits or cards or phone calls. I think everyone deserves a little gift. Do you think we could have some party mints or nut cups that they could take back to their rooms with them?" 
"Oh Grandma, you are the ever caring nurse aren't you?"
Over the weekend.
“Grandma, only two more days and I will see you!”
"Laura, I don't think I will be able to sleep because I am so excited."
"Me too, Grandma, me too."
Happy 90th birthday Grandma Jingles!
I am in a tiny town in Northern Minnesota that has limited internet connection. Forgive me if I am unable to respond.


Lesley Jean said...

This made me cry! Nothing like the love of and for a grandmother! I'm so glad you have one another and you are able to make her birthday so special. I hope you all have a wonderful time!! :)

Linda said...

This is the sweetest thing ever!!!!! :) Bless your heart. It makes me a tad jealous, I'll confess, because I don't have Grandparents. My DAD will be 87 this year, so very close to your Grandma's age.

What a blessing and how wonderful. I can't wait to read all about the party and see photos.

You're such a sweetheart. Happy Birthday to your dear Grandma. ♥

Love, Linda

Auntie Em said...

Sounds like the perfect celebration! It is so wonderful you were able to go to celebrate with your grandmother. Especially since she has given so much during her lifetime and obviously expects so little. How much joy it will bring to her and all her friends. Enjoy every moment and don't miss out on the special moments! :)

BTW, I totally agree with Grandma about the white nurses uniforms. No one ever mistook a cleaner for an RN with her freshly pressed whites. No germs or anything else went from patient to patient on anything so clean. They need to bring them back give the nursing profession back the pride in their career.
And your grandmother looks like the type of nurse who made a patient feel better just by having her taking care of them. :)
Happy Birthday Grandma Jingles!

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

Oh how sweet...I hope she has the best party ever!!

Kelley said...

No need to respond, but could you just pass me a tissue? *sniff* This is lovely. Makes me miss my grandmother.

A very happy birthday!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I'm moved to tears.
I just love that she wanted each person to have a little something - love it.
The photos were fun.
Thanks for sharing it with us.
Warmed my heart this morning.

It's All Connected said...

Oh, you reminded me of my aunt, who became a nurse in the 30's. I remember her still starching her caps in the 50's. What a wonderful party you (she?) planned for her birthday! ~ Maureen

Jennifer Watkins-Jones said...

Oh my, How sweet! I got chills reading it! I am so glad she is excited about her party, but I am even more happy that you were able to go and visit your Grandma Jingles! What a wonderful tribute to her and I like her party planning!

Enjoy your visit and party!

Sherri B. said...

Oh, I just love this sweet post! Happy Birthday Grandma will certainly be wonderful for all who get to share in this happy occasion! xo

openid said...


My mother graduated with a degree in nursing in the 60s and wore the same uniform as Grandma Jingles and feels the same way about scrubs.
I'm so happy God gave you both the gift of time together.


Carlene @ Organized Clutter said...

Hi Laura, I am commenting from a tiny town in Northern Minnesota. This story and tribute to your Grandmother is priceless!

Maria (Magia Mia) said...

Happy Birthday Grandma Jingles! You are so special! And you have a very special granddaughter too!

I was already crying, and then the mention of nut cups for residents that don't get visitors sent me into sobbing. What a heart-wrenching and special post Laura......

Terri said...

Laura, your post has me all in anticipation for your grandmothers party! I can't wait to hear how it went.
What a sweet heart your grandmother is, and you too my dear. I don't know who will have more joy, You giving her the party or her receiving the party!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

A wonderful story--I'm so glad you were able to go.

Shelia said...

Aw...Laura, I have tears in my eyes. What a sweet story! Happy Birthday to your dear granny!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Antiques And Teacups said...

How very special! My eyes filled with tears as I read about the wonderful joy you were able to share with her, and she with the other residents. What a blessing...for all of you! Thanks so much for sharing!

Catie D. said...

So special! What a joyous gift for BOTH of you!
So glad you got to bless her, and be blessed in return.
hugs, friend!

The Working Home Keeper said...

How sweet! Happy Birthday to your grandmother!

Mary Ellen
The Working Home Keeper

Patti said...

This is a sweet story. I too am a nurse, and just was so sad when we stopped wearing our nursing caps. Yes, they were a pain, always getting caught in the curtains and such, but I worked hard for my cap and pin!
The party sounds so exciting. All pink and everything. I look forward to the photos!

Carolyn said...

What a beautiful story that brought tears to my eyes! Today is my son's birthday too! How blessed you are to still have your grandmother!

martinealison said...

C'est un véritable plaisir que d'avoir lu cette belle histoire généreusement illustrée... Joyeuse anniversaire...
J'aime beaucoup la toute dernière photo de vous et de votre grand-mère. Elle est est sincèrement très belle.
Je vous fais de gros bisous.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Laura, enjoy every minute. My sweet mother in love, who just celebrated her 91st birthday on March 6th, left us for heaven on Tuesday evening. We are all sad but yet rejoicing in knowing that she is walking the streets of gold with Jesus.

Jocelyn @

Pamela R said...

Awww this is the sweetest thing ever! It is so lovely that you can have that kind of a connection with your grandma!

Perfectly Printed said...

Aren't Grandma's the best?

Have a wonderful time!!


Lorrie said...

Happy Birthday, Grandma Jingles! I am so thrilled you could be there with her, Laura. How good God is.

I love the way she became all excited over her birthday party, and the way she continues to think of others. What a sweet woman.

Vicki said...

Ok, I cried as I read this! I'm so glad you got to go spend a very special day with a wonderfully special woman. Happy Birthday Grandma Jingles!

Priscilla said...

Oh, Laura, this is your best post EVER!
Assure her she has lots of fans here in Blog Land.

GARAGE SALE GAL ~ Deb's Earthly Delights said...

I'm crying too!!! You have the sweeest Grandma...It's cool that we have the same birthday and I hope I'll be as sweet as she is when I'm 90!
I hope you are enjoying your visit here and sorry that the weather is so cold..
Love the photo of you 2!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

What a beautiful woman and a BEAUTIFUL story!! Happy BIRTHDAY Grandma!!! And from what she says about some of the residents not getting visits or phone calls... I would love to donate a TON of cards that I will make to the place that she lives (birthday, thinking of you ... etc) --- can you email me an address where I can mail them?? I would love to do that... everyone deserves happy mail! :)

GARAGE SALE GAL ~ Deb's Earthly Delights said...

I forgot
HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY to your Dear Grandma!!
Deb :)

Jane said...

Happy 90th Birthday to your Grandma, Laura! So very happy that you could go see her to celebrate, white cake/pink roses/lemonade/fruit tray/games, and all! Such a beautiful story of her life!Blessings, Jane

the language of design said...

Oh what a lovely, beautiful story! Happy birthday to Grandma Jingle! I love reading your blog Laura, it is just so real, and hopeful and inspires me so much. I can see clearly the family resemblance in all the photos. Enjoy your time!Hugs.

Bettyann said...

Dear Laura...what a sweet tale..Happy Birthday Grandma Jingles.....

Karena said...

Laura this moved me so much! You are so good to your family. After all of these years you and your grandmother are so close and caring!

Art by Karena

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

What a precious story! You both are so blessed to have each other! And,call me old fashioned but I agree with Grandma; I prefer nurses in uniforms and caps!Nowdays it's hard to tell who is a nurse and who is a civilian!

Creations By Cindy said...

This has tears of joy to my eyes this morning! Oh How I praise the Lord that you have been able to celebrate your Grands 90th birthday! Such a blessing. Grandma Jingles is blessed to have you. Cherish these special moments...they will become memories for you for a long time! God is so good to us. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Mary Ellen said...

Laura what a beautiful way to show love to your Grandma! How precious that you have her with you still to celebrate and honor her special day! Life is filled with so much good even in the midst of pain and sorrow-

bee blessed

LDH said...

Happy Birthday to your dear Grandma! I think I love her too! :) SO happy you were able to be with her and make her 90th birthday so special!

carol said...

what an awesome post. your grandma looks great for 90. you've created some beautiful, happy memories to cherish!

Jill Elaine said...

That is just so sweet! I love how excited she was over you coming and planning her birthday party! So fun how she kept asking if it was ok to add this or that. So special that you could indeed go. Praise God!

Cindy said...

What a sweet story, I hope your grandma had a wonderful birthday party!
Hugs, Cindy

Bernadine said...

I'm reading back through several posts. The ongoing story with your grandma is so precious. I loved reading them. And by the way, do you two have the same eye color?

Marydon said...

TY for the invite, Laura, but it no longer allows me to connec t with you in this google+ thingy. I would if I could.

Have a lovely weekend ~