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Two Groves of Trees...I want them back

I want them back. I want them all back. I am going to be selfish for a few minutes here....something that I have been raised to believe is wrong. I wholeheartedly agree it is wrong. However, I want them back, dammit, I want them back!

I want to walk in a room, see my Grandma Simonson cooking one of her fantastic meals; and be able to give her a big strong hug and have her hug me back. I want to argue with my Grandpa Simonson about world events, religion, or whatever the heck else. I want to hear his wisdom and strength because Lord knows, I could use it many days. I also want to hug him. I want to hear and be helped by both Grandma and Grandpa Simonson's wisdom.

I wish I had known my Grandpa Don Koepke better. I wish I had not been rude one night when he was sick and said that I should not have helped him when I definitely did want to help him. I just decided to be selfish as I am now. I wish I had listened to his stories more and had hugged him as tight as he would hug me in his bear hugs. I wish I could tell him how sorry I was that I spent the first five years after his death being too afraid to grieve him, thinking I had to be stronger than that. Boy, was I stupid. Okay, he would tell me not to use that term. Okay, misguided and lost, that is better.

Even though I knew my Grandma Ruth Koepke the best of all the grandkids on my Dad's side of the family, I still feel like I did not know her that well. She was a wonderful and loving lady who had a lot of fire and enthusiasm for life. She also was a good hugger. She never got angry at anyone, or at least not us kids....even when I coated her entire, carpeted kitchen floor with orange juice one morning in an attempt to make either her or my Mom breakfast. A very nice and understanding lady.....

I want them all back. I also want all of the relatives back that I did not know either. My Grandma Ruth's sisters sounded like a barrel of fun. One of her sisters, my Great-Aunt Eileen, died forty years before I was born. She was a schoolteacher as well as a writer. She was engaged to be married to a young man named Lorence "Lorry" Winter. Unfortunately, their wedding day never came. She died just two weeks before as a result of dust pneumonia. Lorry, understandably, was a broken man for a long time after that happened. He probably wished to the heavens that he could have Eileen, the love of his life, back once again. Why did this have to happen?

There will never be a why that would be good enough. How about something positive that eventually came into Lorry's the form of another love? Lorry eventually fell in love with another woman named Melva. They married and had two daughters, one of them being the author of the book about which I am writing, Linda Winter - Hodgson. It is also fitting that the book is called Two Groves of Trees: A Story of Love and Second Chances.

Maybe Mrs. Hodgson would never have existed if Eileen had not died and Lorry and Melva had never fallen in love. Maybe she would have.....She is a great writer so that would have been a shame. I also appreciate that she was brave and compassionate enough to tell this story.

It would be very easy to give up and say that because a great love, wonderful hugs, interesting talks, great cooking, or wonderful times are gone; there could never be anything else just as wonderful or more wonderful that would come along. It would be simpler to say the hell with life and to hate everyone and everything in it.

We were not born to live simple lives. The relative and friends who went before us would not want us to do that either. They would wonder why we were wasting all those wonderful hugs and talks and cooking and the like. Love is meant to not only be enjoyed by a particular person but also to be shared with other people by that particular person. If it is not, then it might as well never have existed.

I want them back. Especially around the middle of March and 4th of July weekend when they passed on; it gets especially hard. I will always want them back They are not here the way I want them to be. But, they are still here. I do my best to live everyday to be good to others and make sure they are taken care of. I hope that somewhere that Grandma Simonson, Grandpa Simonson, Grandpa Don, and Grandma Ruth are proud of me.

Pick up Two Groves of Trees. It is honestly a good book.

I love and miss you all so much!! I want you all back. I am doing my best, though, and will continue to do so. Take Care and God Bless. Happy Birthday, Grandma Ruth....July 4th was your birthday.

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