I have been thinking alot about our short trip. My brother was able to make it home from Iraq and it was wonderful to see him. We saw some of our siblings, cousins, uncles and other family members we haven't seen in years. But we made one very special stop.
Just three blocks from the ocean in downtown Long Beach on the third floor of an extremely modest apartment building lives a man who I have only known throughout my life as "daddy Jim". My mom married my dad when I was eighteen months old. He is my dad. I have only ever thought of him as my dad. He has been everything a dad should be and I am thankful that God blessed me with him. But obviously I had another "dad". That is where the name "daddy Jim" came from. Off and on as a young child I would go and visit my biological dad and somewhere he was given the name "daddy Jim" as not to confuse me since I called my dad "dad". Fast forward to today and leaving out a whole lot of details and history, I had not seen "daddy Jim" in over ten years. Last Monday when I was finishing up preparing for this trip, the Lord impressed upon my heart to contact him. I did! I know he is getting older and I didn't want to have any regrets for not making the effort to see him. I have known I needed to for several years but have not done so. And so on Tuesday morning after landing in Los Angeles we were on our way to Long Beach to visit him. I will save the details of our visit for another post since it was extremely emotional for me and I am not sure I could type through the tears.
I think it was wonderfully ironic that I would choose to go and seek him out before attending my grandma's funeral. She was my "dad's" mother and as a young girl she would often ask me if I ever hear from "daddy Jim". She genuinely cared and hoped that I would be able to see him and never never treated me as if I wasn't her very own granddaughter.
My brothers and I loved going to her house. It was always an adventure or at least we were hoping it would be. There was usually some buried treasure she was uncovering in some box. She could usually be found out in the yard pulling weeds or working on moving stuff around. She had a lot of "stuff". She never drove and could clean out a mayonnaise jar to the last drop. She loved dolls and scooped up all the orphans from the choc store downtown. She was an incredible seamstress. I have two handmade Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls to prove it. She made the best cinnamon rolls and my absolute favorite was her huge ginger snaps that were always piled high in a large glass jar with a slice of bread at the top to keep the cookies soft. But the thing I will most likely remember most about my grandma was Norwegian "lefse". I would beg her to make it. She made them from leftover mashed potatoes, shortening and flour. They looked like tortillas when cooked and tasted wonderful when sprinkled with a little butter and sugar.
Thank you grandma for all the wonderful memories!