I never had a problem remembering Grandma Hein’s birthday. Grandma is my husband, Bob’s grandmother, so I didn’t grow up knowing her birthday. Nevertheless, I always can always remember that day. I suppose it is because, every year, Grandma had a special date with a ground hog. Everyone has dates…and I don’t mean the romantic kind. There is a date with death, a date with birth, a date with an upcoming test, or graduation. We don’t always call these things dates, although, some of them we do. And every year, we have a date with our birthday. That was the kind of date that Grandma Hein had. Every year of her life, Grandma knew that her day was extra special, because she got to find out about the coming Spring. She mentioned that to me several times, so I know she liked it.
Grandma’s life wasn’t always easy. Her mother, Viola Leary, was in and out of their lives, and when she returned, Grandma wasn’t sure she wanted her there. Of course, there was a step mother in the picture at some point, but that marriage didn’t last either, opening the door for Viola’s return. Viola was back in Grandma’s life until her dad’s passing, and then resurfaced at the time of her own passing. Unfortunately, Grandma’s relationship with her mother was never an especially close one, even when her mother lived with them. Of course, I also understand that there are two sides to every story, but since everyone else had passed away, I only heard the one side.
Grandma was a hard working woman. I’m sure that is partly because of all the years she spent taking care of the house that she and her dad and brother lived in. I remember going to her home for visits, and finding myself thinking that Grandma just never slowed down. She could run circles around most people and never seemed to get tired. I think that is how most ranchers’ wives are though. The day just never seems to end.
It was always so much fun to go to visit Grandma and Grandpa Hein. It was a trip we made sure we took every year, and I have always be thankful we did. It has been so many years, and I really miss those trips and I miss Grandma and Grandpa Hein. Today would have been Grandma’s 108th birthday, and while Spring is supposedly 6 weeks away, the day is special because it is hers. Happy birthday in Heaven, Grandma Hein. We love and miss you very much.