My Grandma Jackson was very special to me – one of my very best friends. Grandma Jackson was so good to make each of her grandchildren feel loved and special. I always felt that way. For a time, before my family moved for medical school, we lived in a house right next door to Grandma and Papa. Grandma would come home from the clinic, where she worked, for lunch each day. I would climb over the fence and get to enjoy spending time with her. I mostly remember playing Eye-Spy while I sat on her lap.
Later, Grandma was nice enough (or sorry enough) to hire me to mow her lawn each summer. I did this for many summers up until I left on my mission. This became something of a tradition. Grandma had a giant lawn, so she thought it was wise to take breaks. Our breaks seemed to become longer and more frequent over the years, and seemed to require us to consume more and more cans of Coke. Sometimes our lawn breaks would become lunches – and we would go to Winco and get “those cheesy things” (nachos) and a Mr. Goodbar. One time she took my brother and sisters with us to get hamburgers in Alamosa. We kids couldn’t stop laughing one time when she grew quite irritated with the McDonald’s cashier that insisted McDonald’s didn’t carry “chips” – when what she meant with her Canadian verbiage was “chips” (fries). I also remember my sister Channing being scandalized by the fact that Grandma put vinegar on our French fries instead of Ketchup. Grandma wasn’t a fan of tomato sauces.
There are too many Grandma Jackson memories to mention, from being wildly entertained by her reactions to the Broncos games, her nervousness as the grandkids showed animals at the fair, looking for peas in the garden, her frequent phone calls to check in on everybody each week, Sunday roast beef and potato dinners, ice cream cones, sitting on the same bench in Church for years, her hand written letters she sent each month on my mission, to her flowers and unmatched ability to handle the weed whacker (and hide corn stalks she accidentally chopped down from Papa).
As a kid, we went on a drive to the top of Wolf Creek Pass with Grandma and Papa – in the back seat, Grandma was talking about the memories she had there. I dutifully informed her that I had no memories at all. She didn’t think that was so. Once we arrived and stepped out of the car – and the mountain air filled my lungs – I said, “Ahh, memories!” Grandma laughed and said, “See?” I’m so glad for the memories she gave me.