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In Memoriam: Grandma Mary Deane

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006 · 1 Comment

When communities come together, great things can happen. I’m consistently amazed by the power of community here in the Northeast.

Last month Jen’s cousins’ 200-year-old barn, which had been in the family most of those 200 years, burnt down and took nearly 100 cows with it. Through raffles at the county fair and fundraiser dinners, the community support since then has been incredible — and has helped raised more than $40,000 already toward rebuilding the barn.

Saturday night we went to the fundraiser dinner for the Skoda farm at Meadowgreen’s, one of a number of small town New York restaurants that have a huge back room for large community gatherings. What occurred to me for the first time Saturday night is that California — and probably other parts of the country that don’t put as much emphasis on community — doesn’t have places like that. In my experience, it’s unique to this part of the country, where families, neighbors, and friends often gather for fun and to support one other when times are rough.

As it turns out, the gathering was even more important than we realized at the time. Jen’s grandmother, Mary Deane, passed away peacefully on Monday.

But she was very much there Saturday night, looking great and having a grand ol’ time with all her family and friends. Jen and I were at the end of a long day (we’d been to the soon-to-be closing Catskill Game Farm earlier in the day) and were getting ready to leave when Jen asked Grandma, “Are you getting ready to head home, too?” She quickly replied, “Who me? Are you kidding? I haven’t been out past dark in ages. I’m not going anywhere.”

And she didn’t. Grandma Deane was full of life and beaming with energy that night — much more so than either Jen and I had seen in a long time. After all, she was surrounded by the people she loved and the community that had supported her throughout the good times and bad.

Rest in peace, Grandma Deane.

I dreamt Monday night that I was spending time with my late grandmother, Nana, helping her pick out drilnks in a liquor store, of all things. And rotisserie chicken.

Tags: anecdotes

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Joe V. // Sep 22, 2006 at 2:33 pm

    Oh man. Jenny and I are so sad to hear this news. Hang in there, Jen. Our condolences to your family.