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Goodbye, Gram

Gram, with my daughter, Christina, at Christmastime in 2007.

Gram, with my daughter, Christina, at Christmastime in 2007.

Gram, with my nephew Waylon, at Christmastime in 2010.

Gram, with my nephew Waylon, at Christmastime in 2010.

She lived fully and robustly for about 80 years, then persevered for 11 and a half more. This morning grace claimed Clarida VanDyne from the purgatory of her physical and mental condition.

I’m so very relieved for her, and mostly for my mother, who has borne the brunt of my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s for the past decade. I’m certain the inexorable extraction of the spirit makes this is the most cruel of any imaginable disease.

Still, as our family comes to grips with this reality today and fights with tears that fill our eyes, we find ourselves amazed at the ferocity with which Gram fought for her life. We’re warmed by the certainty that even though she no longer knew us, she continued to feel so much joy in the presence of our children.

And I, for one, will never, ever, let her memory fade. Her name will grace my books. Her stories will fill my speeches. Her principles will reinforce my every action and interaction.

On a day when I was perhaps more eloquent than today, I remembered Gram on her 90th birthday:

To say thank you, Gram, doesn’t begin to be enough.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

Number of Entries : 1023
  • Rick Churchill

    The passing of any loved-one is never easy even when you know that the time has come. My memories of Gram are fond ones- whether it be licking envelopes at PPP or at a Christmas party the smile was always there.

    This may seem hard to understand but my best memories are not those that were in person but were those found in the words her grandson wrote in the pages of PPP. Those words conveyed all that we needed to know about his Gram. Through those words we would learn she was a wonderful and practical woman who had a great influence on the family who had the pleasure to spend so much time with her.

  • Jesse O’Brien

    I am very sorry for your loss. I know she meant so much to you.

    • Paul Tukey

      Thanks, Jesse. She was something else.

  • Spencer Lane

    Paul, I’m sad to learn about the passing of your “Gram.” From the photos I can tell she was well loved and a proud member of your family. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Hilda Morrill

    Dear Paul,
    Such a special lady. Really enjoyed reading about her in your birthday tribute to her. May she rest in peace in that big garden in the sky.

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