Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All Good Things Must Come to an End...

            I know that the title of my Grandma Bernie's post is a big cliché, but at certain times old people say exactly what everybody is feeling and thinking. I didn’t know what I thought I was going to write about when I asked to write my Grandma’s last blog; if I was going to tell a story about our relationship or if I was just going to reiterate her obituary. I have struggled to get started, and have seemingly developed writers block about the topic. 

            Is it even possible to put your love and affection into words about someone you have known and relied on your entire life? How can I even show how great she was to her friends and her family? It was a struggle, but this is what I have put forth. 

            Most relationships are built on a common interest. For my grandma and me, it was the Green Bay Packers. I still remember the days she would take me and my brothers to training camp when we would visit her in Green Bay. I, the youngest of three brothers, would be timid and didn’t like to approach the players to get their autographs. Grandma Bernie was always there pushing me forward and whispering in my ear what to say to the players. Making me ask for their autographs myself and showing me that I shouldn’t be nervous. Because of her, my brothers and I through the years would run all over Lambeau’s parking lot getting as many autographs as possible. 

            I credit her for my borderline obsession with the team and its players. For the past couple years I would call her before, at halftime, and after every Packers game. We would talk about our predictions and the outcomes of the game. It was always our topic of choice and we would never get exhausted talking about it. 

            Those calls brought us closer together even though we lived a thousand miles away. So, it was only fitting that she would have passed watching the Packers game; the first game in a long time, where we hadn’t talked about it beforehand because she was too ill. I was in Alabama watching the game with my friends when I got the call that she had passed. I shut myself in my room, not able to watch the game. 

            Through the rest of my life I look forward to thinking about her every time the Pack is on TV, and every time the opposing team scores a touchdown, I will yell, “Oh, shit” for my Grandma Bernie, cause that was what she always said. 

            I feel a little selfish just talking about our relationship, but I am using it as an example to show the love she had for her family. I feel when you read her obituary that was posted in the previous post, you only see her accomplishments and a little of the fun outgoing personality that she possessed. It does not show how she was a grandparent that every child would want; a loving and caring women that wasn’t afraid to kick your ass if she needed to. 

Rules were more guidelines to her that could be bent any which way. She was always accepting of everyone and always gave them a chance until you crossed her. Then you needed to earn your way back into her good graces. (And you wanted to be in them) The quirky personality that she had was hard not to love. She had a personal relationship with everybody in the family and was not afraid to tell her opinion on what everyone should do.

I will miss the hunts for a USA Today so she could have her daily crossword puzzle. The “sss” that she did unknowingly when she was concentrating on something. The infamous Kleenex tissues that littered the ground everywhere she went. The orange juice and water that she only took two sips of, but had to have every night before she went to bed. 

Her love for the lake and the calm that would come over her when she would swim. The “dive” that everyone knows she would do while she would swim. The card games we wouldn’t want to play at first, then realized how fun they were. The world famous “Bill and Bernice Show” that everyone in the family loved to see on mornings when we thought we wanted to sleep in.

All of these things are the things I am going to miss most. I didn’t know that I would, but given the fact that I won’t see or hear them anymore and won’t ever again is disheartening.  She was a wonderful woman and I will miss her a lot. She will always be in me and my families’ thoughts for as long as we shall live. 

            She really enjoyed writing this blog, and loved it when you guys would comment and show your thoughts about her topic of choice. It brought her much joy, and I hope it brought you guys the same. This is the last blog post that will appear and I want to extend a sincere thank you to all of her readers.  I hope I did an adequate job. She is a hard act to follow.


A New Adventure

"And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds it morning and is refreshed."
From the Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Bernice Madeline Maria Sucha, 85, passed away Sept. 25, 2011 in Rochester, Minnesota. She was born in Chicago Nov. 16, 1925, to the Rev. Axel and Frida Eklund. The youngest of five children, Bernie began an early lifelong love for lakes while at her family cottage on Big Lake, Wisconsin.

At 16, she graduated from high school in Ironwood, Michigan. Bernie then embarked on a college adventure she referred to as the happiest time of her life. Accompanied by a spirited attitude and several expulsions, she graduated from North Park Junior College (Chicago) and Winona State Teachers College, (Winona, Minnesota)

On Sept. 29, 1950, she married Bill Sucha. They honeymooned at the Deluxe Motel in Rochester, Minnesota.  During 59 years of marriage, they traveled throughout much of the US, England and Scotland. They lived in Austin, Minnesota, Denver, Colorado., Muskegon and Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the last 31 years in Green Bay. Bernie and Bill had four children, Jon, Julie, Jim, and Jordan.

Although most of her working life was spent teaching high school English, she also sold real estate in Michigan and worked as a secretary, mail clerk and waitress while putting herself through college. She was a substitute teacher in the Green Bay school system until age 80 and is past president of the Substitute Teacher’s Union.

A two-time breast cancer survivor, Bernie reveled in learning and remained active in the Learning In Retirement program at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. An avid reader, she loved to paint, play the piano, work crosswords puzzles, watch Jeopardy, dally at golf and bridge, fish and write poetry. She relished The Student Prince and Les Miserables. She completed one mile of the Bellin Run in 2007 and in 2010. Bernie adored golden retrievers, growing blue ribbon flowers--especially gladiolus, and the Green Bay Packers.

Her blog “Old? Who?Me?” has 669 followers and more than 23,846 visitors.

Rowing her boat on Lily Lake brought her much peace, but she preferred speed. She never turned down a motorcycle ride or let up on her lead-foot driving. This past May, she drove a speedboat at top speed down the middle of the lake.

Preceded in death by her husband, William D. Sucha, Bernice is survived by Jonathan Sucha (Frank Fredericks) Denver, Colo., Julianne Anderson (Bob) Austin, Texas, James Sucha, Green Bay, Jordan Sucha (Lori) Sheboygan Falls, Wis.

Bernie enjoyed great love from her grandchildren Jacob Anderson (Chelsea), Jordan Anderson, Ian Anderson, and little Miranda Sucha, who loves catsup and pickles just like her grandma.

Visitation will be noon Friday, Sept. 30, followed at 1 p.m. by service at Grace Lutheran Church, Green Bay, Wis. Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery, Allouez, Wis. Champagne, Those Golden Days, Drink, Drink, and Stars and Stripes Forever with fireworks on tap.


Related Posts with Thumbnails