Saturday, October 15, 2011

Anniversary Day


Some days are just special in a family…for some reason, certain events just seem to gather on one day…

My beautiful grandmother, LaPriel was born on the 14th of October in 1912…just months after the sinking of the Titanic…

Ruby LaPriel Riggs {LaPriel…just 17 years old in this beautiful photo}

Fast forward 25 years…my other grandparents, Dow and Velda, were married on that same day…

BRIDE10_12_01--Velda 2

…little knowing they would share their special day with the mother of their far-in-the-future son-in-law…

Flying farther into the future…my grandfather Dow had passed away in the early ‘90’s…Velda—Grammie—didn’t like being without him, although she felt so much joy in being with the rest of her family…

Velda with my girls, May 23,  2001_edited-1 {The last time we saw Grammie…May 2001.  Surrounded by her beautiful great-granddaughters…just the way she liked it…}

“Why am I still here, Julie?”, she would often ask me over the phone.  Firmly believing she would be with her husband again after she died, she would then ask—“Why hasn’t he come for me yet?”…and jokingly she would add… “Do you think he doesn’t love me anymore?”…and then more seriously… “Do you think he has forgotten me?”

DSC06359_edited-1 {the newlyweds…Dow & Velda on the front porch of their first home together}

Quietly smiling to myself at my end of the phone connection, I assured her—time and time again—that my Grandad of course still loved her and would come for her at the right time…and not until then…

DSC06357_edited-1 {I love cutting out portrait shots…makes them feel so alive to me.  A copy of one of the beautiful telegrams sent for their wedding…}

A little less than two weeks after one of the most dreadful of days—September 11, 2001—my mother was with me visiting for the week.  While sitting at the table crafting with me, she suddenly said, “I need to call Mom.”

They had quite a long conversation, but something didn’t seem quite right to Mom…She tried to call her back shortly after , but Grammie never answered the phone again…

DSC06360_edited-1 {pretty crysal flower stem from Michael’s…beautiful background paper from Crafty Secrets’ “Creating with Vintage Patterns” CD}

A friend was called to go and check on Velda--she had had a massive stroke right after her talk with Mom—and was in a coma-like condition which she was never to come out of…

A last visit with my dear Grammie at the hospice in which she was staying…so hard to see her that way…eyes open, but she was barely there…she was waiting.

DSC06351_edited-1 {photo taken on their 50th wedding anniversary…Velda was so proud to still fit in her beautiful wedding dress}

The day soon came.  Two weeks after her stroke, Velda left us.  A very special day, indeed—October 14th.  Her anniversary day.

I just knew that her sweetheart would come for her when the time was right.


Late that same day, my daughter Sarah, then just 6 years old, drew a beautiful picture….a long table with many place settings ready for a feast…standing in the center was a very special couple—Dow and Velda—side by side.


I asked Sarah what the picture was about…”It’s their anniversary party in Heaven!”, she said, very matter-of-factly to me…

Of course it was.  Some days in a family are just more special than others…

Happy Anniversary.

With love,



  1. Dearest Julie,
    I had goosebumps the whole time I was reading your heartfelt post, and then when it came to your daughter's picture and quote...I lost it. Immediate tears! Oh, how sweet of your Sarah, at such a young age to be able to articulate her feelings. Your "Grammie" must have been a wonderful woman, and her thoughts to you about her awaiting husband, so touching. She speaks in the same manner as my very own grandmother did...mixing life with what goes on, on the "other side." I found this post so enchanting. Thank you for graciously sharing all your beloved family memories.
    P.S. Is it my imagination, or does your darling red headed daughter look very much like your Grandmother LaPriel when she was young?

  2. Such a beautiful tale of love and of loss and of
    the significance of unbeknownst days. I hope they are holding hands now. penny

  3. hi Julie...what an incredibly wonderful post...tfs

  4. Hi Julie, wow, what a beautiful post. One of those that causes goosebumps and tears. I just love how you string all these family stories together and then tie them up in a neat little package of love and layers. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Tammy

  5. Oh Julie, the tears are just streaming down my face... what beautiful love stories of your grandparents, and yes, the time was right for your grandfather to come and get your grandmother on their anniversary... the little drawing by your daughter is just priceless... xoxo Julie Marie

  6. Julie,
    Such a beautiful & well told story!!! It has left tears in my eyes! I love the fact that she went to him on their Annv! And the picture your daughter drew... AMAZING! And I'm sure they had quiet the party. HUGS!

  7. What a beautiful post Julie. I loved reading all the words and shed a tear or two . . . amazing. My Aunt Freda passed on she and my Uncle Harold's 48th wedding anniversary. It was so sad. She is now waiting for him like your granddad for your gran. I love what you have created and am amazed at the picture your daughter drew of the anniversary feast! Have a wonderful weekend. The sun is shining here finally, but it is cool. xxoo

  8. What a heartfelt post... with tears still streaming down. My beloved Grandma went home 12 years before my loving Granddad followed her. He kept asking why he wasn't beside his beloved and we always told him it was because he was going to be able to tell her about all their great grandkids. I can just hear them now.

    Thank you for sharing your precious story. Have a great weekend.

  9. Hi lovely lady.
    This is a beautiful and heartfelt story sweet lady. I do love all your photos on your blog.
    Im your newest follower on your blog now.
    I hope you have a great weekend.
    XXOO Diane

  10. My sweet JULIE!


    You know, my grandma was a looker too, and I should use her photo to make some vintage goodies!!! She is on my side-bar, if you ever see them. THANK YOU for coming to visit me and I am trying to set up my Etsy shop little by little; being a busy teacher makes it hard to get started! I only have weekends to organize myself, but it should open soon. Thanks for your kind words! HAVE A FAB WEEKEND! Anita

  11. Hi Julie - oh how I love your family stories and I'm pleased to hear I'm not the only one who had to dry the tears after reading this one! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  12. WOW!!! What a powerful LOVE story! Kind of reminds me of the movie "The Notebook". I believe children have a special vision...and your daughter's picture of her Great Grands celebrating was a factual drawing! "Out of the mouth of babes!"

  13. Gosh Julie....I am a little chocked up after reading this. What a lovely story.
    He did come and get her.....when the time was right, and what could be a better time then on their anniversary.
    and the little picture drawn by your daughter is just perfectly beautiful.
    Children have such an innocent faith.
    I need to get that back again.

  14. I wept reading your beautiful heartfelt post. What a gorgeous lady your grandmother was! Thank you for sharing her life and your beautiful art!

  15. Julie this is one of my favorite stories that you have shared, thank you so much!
    Your daughter's picture of the party in heaven is just priceless!

  16. What a beautiful story - I love your pictures too!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  17. Thank you so much for sharing those sweet memories with me! I too share my anniversary date October 15 with my grandparents. I did not know this when I chose October 15 for my wedding day in 1982 but when I found out that my grandparents were married on that day too it made the date all the more special. I have made it 29 years, my grandparents were married for 66 before they both went home to heaven. PaPa went in June and Mama went the same year in November. Your stories made me remember mine!

  18. I love your blog! So many great ideas.
    I’m a follower.


  19. Oh my goodness ....what a sweet sweet story. The heart is an amazing thing isn't it!?

    Thank you for sharing my friend....happy new week.

  20. What a touching post, Julie . . .

  21. Hello Julie

    What a beautiful heartfelt words
    What a LOVE STORY!
    I will pop by more often...don't know why I haven't been so often before ;-)
    LOVE PEACE enJOY family