After spending 2 days in the lovely state of Wisconsin, it was time to head over to Minnesota. This is where we would spend the bulk of our time in the Midwest and thankfully the weather was absolutely perfect, considering it was August. I was fully prepared to suffer through a hot, sticky week just so my boys could spend a few hours with their beloved Grandma Clara. It would be well worth it.

P1030521In Wisconsin I introduced you to Grandma Mira, who recently turned 92. That’s the same age that Grandma Clara happened to be the winter she had a severe stroke. Up until that time she lived on her own in a 2-story home across the street from the John Deere tractor supply company that her only husband of 5 years used to operate. They married when Clara was in her 50’s and had 5 good years before Ed died of a heart attack.

Clara is Hubs’ great-aunt, but she’s always been known as Grandma Clara to us. She is 99 years young, still wears her darling wedding ring and remembers to send birthday cards. She is an amazing woman and we are so blessed to have her in our lives!

Sadly, her stroke happened in the middle of a fierce blizzard and she was unable to get to a phone. Her sister-in-law was worried about Clara and trekked over to the house with a friend to check on her. That was nearly 2 days after she had the stroke. It left her partially paralyzed on one side and her entire independent existence was changed forever. She now lives in a truly wonderful convalescent home in Blue Earth. From that day on she no longer drove a car, gardened, made quilts, baked all kinds of goodies, did her own hair, or dressed herself. The home she lovingly cared for and the items that we were unable to take with us during one of our visits were sold at auction. It was a harsh new reality for someone her age and I admire her courage throughout. She is amazing to me!

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The kids all do really well with her and I was so happy that L had the chance to meet her. It’s always tough to know how the little ones will do while we sit around and talk with Clara, but we made sure to bring lots of little treats and toys to keep them occupied and Clara loves talking with them as well.

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Clara’s home was near a park so we all ventured out during lunch one afternoon since the weather was so nice and Clara was up for the adventure! D took the opportunity to take a ride with Clara while his Uncle Eric helped out.

We were able to spend 3 days in Minnesota and it was a wonderful visit with a precious woman. Every time we leave Blue Earth I wonder when we’ll be back and how Grandma Clara will be doing. Thankfully Hubs is able to make a visit with his brother every year; I’m hopeful that the boys and I will have another chance to visit with her this side of Heaven.

Here’s a few pics of Clara with D during our visits in years past. They always make me smile!

Clara & D in 2007

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Clara and D in 2008

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