I feel an amazing and odd sense of comfort since Grandma Apple’s passing. I feel her with me all the time. I heard her laugh behind me the other day. I feel warm when I think of her, which is constantly. But I find that even though I’m not uncontrollably sobbing as I had anticipated, I am still desperately wanting to comfort myself with food. I’m not sure if it’s an attempt to continue to bond with her, bc food was an integral part of our relationship or if it is in an attempt to comfort myself. Grandma Apple was a total partner in crime when it came to bad eating. She was a snacker with a sweet tooth. We went on hundreds of trips to Dairy Queen for Heath Blizzards as kids. She fed you with lard and love anytime of the day. She was famous for her cube steak with taters and unguns as she called them and every meal came with a pan of biscuits. A healthy meal never came from the Apple’s residence. She had cabinets full of Bugles, chips, popcorn, Pop Tarts, peanut butter crackers, Pringles, and Oodles of Noodles. She had a cookie jar full of Little Debbies, mini candy bars, gum. And a freezer stocked with ice cream and ice cream sandwiches and frozen school pizza. We shared many a meal together at The Bojangle as she called it. Me, her and Grandpa had a standing beer and pizza night while I lived there. Now, having said all of this, she was always super concerned with my weight and with my health. I know she worried about me a lot. She always had a plan for us to get skinny together. She always said that she would get me “one of them yella polka dot bikinis” when I got thin. She always wanted status updates and no one was more proud than Gigi of our success. So why am I honoring her life by gaining weight back!?! Between being exhausted after the gym and my comfort snacking, I’m up almost 20! UGH! This is literally the last thing on earth this woman would want!!! I was rereading Two Meatballs: An Afternoon with Grandma Apple (because I can’t get enough of the memories) and I read a passage about her asking me how much weight I had lost, me responding 40 pounds and her saying…I wish it were a 100! I am sooooooo close to losing 100 pounds, or I was until I gave myself February off of paleo and the gym. Now it’s 9 days into March and I have to get real with myself. Eating like shit isn’t going to bring her back and it is the last thing she would want. So how do I keep the connection while getting back on track!? My Aunt Deb is the executor of the Apple will. She invited her siblings to come down to Wilson this past Saturday to gather any of the things inside the house that they wanted to keep. The next day, Kelly, Kristina and myself got to do the same. This was such an amazing, lovely, healing gathering. Deb, my mom Anna, Chase, Wyatt and baby Trace joined us. Again, I thought this would be sob fest 2015 and it was a little teary but very healing. I am for sure a symbols person. Being able to have some things that so totally remind me of her and Grandpa and our amazing childhood and surround myself with them in my own home feels so warm and lovely. She saved everything. She cherished every card, letter, newspaper clipping, inspirational quote, pictures, diaries, trinkets…this woman kept it all. It was incredibly healing and cathartic to go back through all the things you poured over all of these years and to do it again all together. I know they were both with us the entire time. It was also nice to get to say goodbye to the house. So many memories…and you know the great thing about memories is that you get to keep them FOREVER!
This day was full of laughter and memories and some tears, but mostly great stories and time travel! I don’t know about you but, everytime I see something I travel back to the moment that it happened…and who better to do that with, than the people you were with when it happened the first time around. #teamapple Kids are a great distraction…and they loved finding their own trinkets to remind them of Gigi.
As the day came to a close we all said our little goodbyes. Mom asked me to go back and shut the door as everyone was packing up their treasures…
And it was a last moment alone…I got a little choked up as I said my farewell. This felt very final. But it also felt like a nice way to leave it be. Now it was time to go home and find all of my Apple things a new resting place. Our grandma always had a cedar chest for all the really important things, so I got two suitcases to fill with my little treasures.
This one has the letters and stories that I wrote my grandparents, her Harlequin Novels, her favorite Disney sweatshirt, an apple oven mitt that was well loved, an old pair of leather gloves, a stainglass apple, a string of her beads, a diary, a book on Aries, and an old bowl. In suitcase number two…
Lots of old pictures, an old license from each of them, a granny and grandpa figurine, and a You are the Apple of My Eye picture and finally a can of snuff…her guilty pleasure. I will take these out for the rest of my life and find so much joy in these little treasures! I am so lucky to have walked away with some of my very favorite things.
But the one thing that I wanted the most was her Princess ring…we held hands a lot and I loved touching and playing with this ring. I thought it was so beautiful and so different…and I am so thankful that my family trusted me to take good care of it. I think it was also important to me that me, my cousin and my sister got a ring so that we could all have her with us always. I don’t ever want to take this gem off.
She was such an important person in my life. I am so happy for her that she got to go the way that she would want and I’m so happy that she is with her husband and her sister and countless other loved ones. I will always want more time with her, but I am so happy to be able to honor her by staying super close with my entire family and thinking fondly of both Apples every single day. Grandpa called me Cotton Top
and Granma (that’s how we spelled it) would call me Sara Jane, Sara Ruth, Sara Lee, Roomie. We are so lucky to have had them as long as we did. So how else do you get back on track and honor Janet Apple!? By eating healthy, getting back in the kitchen!
This was maple dijon chicken…super easy to make. 4 chicken breasts, 1/2 cup dijon mustard, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar and rosemary, salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 425, place chicken breasts on a greased 9 x 13 pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix together wet ingredients and coat the chicken with the mixture..sprinkle with rosemary and bake for 35 minutes. I made this with roasted cauliflower and broccoli and they were delicious! Why is it so hard to remember how good it is to cook!? What else…go to the gym with Jenny and my dad! Stay on the path to continue getting healthy…nothing would make Gigi happier!
How else can we honor the Apples?! Continuing traditions…making time for children and playing time honored Old Maid.
The boys even drew pictures of Gigi as an angel…crying my eyes out!
And a quick home makeover. Seeing her bookcases really made me want to makeover my own. I want to honor all members of my family and our family history all the time! These were my cluttered catch all before shelves! Sidebar, Jenny’s husband and our third meatball, Brandon built me these shelves years ago and I love them soooo much!
And this was the end result!
And the side by side…you know I love picstich!
Ahhhhhh, I love my family and Grandma, I promise I’m going to reach my goal. She always said that she couldn’t go until she thought everyone was settled. She must have thought we were all going to be alright and that really gives me hope! Team Apple for life. Ps…I know that I don’t talk about them nearly as much as I should bc we don’t see each other that much, but I love my Beard family soooooo much! Post to follow soon! Xoxo time to honor her the right way.
Pps…My client/love of my life Sarah just came in and gave me so much insight….and some beautiful flowers! Xo I’m stuck in a disappointment cycle and Jenny and I are too disconnected. We are blogging completely separately and have been for some time…this is supposed to be our journey TOGETHER! We need each other and we need Sandra and we need to stop disappointing ourselves. Feeling pumped times a million!!!! Thanks Sarah! Love you like woah!
Can’t stop crying! She would be proud! We all need to grieve and then make her prouder than ever if possible. No one was more proud of their family!
Mom! So glad we got to be there together!
So perfect Sara!
Love you Sara!! You have an amazing family!
Love you Jenny! You’re part of it!
Remember to love yourself as much as your Granma loved you 💓 you got this!
Thank you soooooo much! Xo