A grand arrival

For all that I’ve talked about my grandfather over the past four months, with all of the concerns, the saying goodbyes, the death and subsequent celebration, I’ve kept quiet about my grandmother. My grandmother, who stood by my grandfather in everything he did. Who supported him when he learned he had cancer, kept him going throughout treatments, and agonized with him as he slowly slipped away. Who at times is very lonely, and at others is still loving life and all it has to offer.

My grandmother is unlike any other. And she’s here in Sioux Falls for the first time since Kerrie and I married. Before that it had been five years. This is something that doesn’t happen often, obviously. So her showing up is cause for celebration.

I always remember my grandmother as being the nicest person I ever knew. And that hasn’t changed. She’s the most caring, sweet person I’ve ever met. I’ve met a lot of grandmothers in my life and, sounding a little biased I’m sure, she’s got to be one of a kind. She has a youthful disposition. She has a keen fashion sense. She’s awesome.

But she’s not just a little old lady with great candy – she’s a sarcastic opinionated spitfire. She is incredibly polite, but she has her viewpoints. And there’s nothing better than hearing my grandmother let loose with a complaint.

Where I would work towards pride and acceptance with my grandfather, I never had to work for anything with my grandmother. She always had pride and acceptance for me. She never had a negative word to say.

I spent nearly at least a little part of the summer for almost a decade with my grandparents in Jackson, Wyoming. I learned my history – the history of my grandmother’s side of the family, the side that helped build Jackson and settled the entire valley – and I learned the value of hard work. A little came from my grandmother. A little came from my grandfather. Both of them together taught me a lot that I never would have learned by staying in Sioux Falls.

So, with that, I welcome my grandmother to Sioux Falls. She used to live here, for a short amount of time – in fact, my mother and father met here nearly 30 years ago. And now, she’s back for a short stint. She doesn’t leave the valley often, but we’re happy to have her regardless.

Welcome (back) to Sioux Falls, Reva Dell.

This was lovingly handwritten on April 14th, 2006