Our matriarch. The glue that has held this family together. Our independent & fearless leader, especially since losing Grandpa. Our example of faith, love, strength & resilience. We were blessed with the best. & this weekend we said goodbye.
As Hofmeisters, we aren’t overly emotional or extra affectionate. But I remember a specific time she called me, during first semester finals of my freshman year at Iowa, & I was struggling. It was the first time I remember her telling me “love you” first, before I could tell her, as we signed off the call & said goodbye … & I remember sitting down & sobbing, because it was *exactly* what I needed to hear & feel & trust in that moment, & she was there. I was in Old Navy at Coral Ridge Mall, taking a break from studying & doing a little Christmas shopping. It’s funny, the things that stick with you.
I remember being nervous to introduce Grandma & Grandpa to my now-husband. We aren’t “traditional” in a lot of ways, & all humans have opinions. But they never hesitated for even a second to embrace him & make him family. I now look back & wish I’d introduced them sooner, because the bond between Grandma & “her Dennis Michael” was special. They’d send cards & little gifts back & forth to each other, just because something reminded them of the other & they wanted to say “hey.” She was proud of the “city boy” I brought home & his ability to keep up on the farm! I love the relationship they had.
After Grandpa passed, lunch dates at The Purple Onion for open-faced sandwiches & a piece of pie became Dennis & I’s favorite way to spend an afternoon with her. She’d share fun facts & memories about each family farm we’d pass on the way there, & about how Grandpa would enter the turning lane from the wrong direction, every time at a specific intersection – but she’d just hold her breath & say a prayer, instead of correcting his driving mistake. I could probably take her example to heart with my own husband & his driving habits… & when COVID hit, & we were all asked to stay home, getting to FaceTime with her & show her around our house has become one of my favorite quarantine memories.
Unsweetened iced tea, goldfish crackers & “emergency cookies” will always remind me of her. Taking time to sit down & color will always make me feel connected to her. I’ll truly miss her hand-written cards (always accessorized with stickers) with updates about her day’s chores & news from the farm & well wishes. & Christmas, which has long been a tough holiday for our family, just got a little more difficult, without her to lead us in the traditions she set.
I hope I resemble her in some ways, as a wife & as a person, & maybe one day soon, a mother. Her organization was enviable. Her attention to detail, unmatchable. & her ability to remember literally every little detail about anything, ever, remarkable. I hope I’ve inherited a bit of her grit, a smidge of her strength, & Lord, please give me her grace to carry me through life like she did.
Grandma, you’ve left us with one heck of a legacy. Love you!