3 years ago today my Grandma, Marilyn Sutherland, passed away. It was her final joke dying on Aprils Fools Day. Good one Grandma.

These are the last photos I have of my grandma. She hated getting her picture taken as an old woman. I took these of us when I had literally just arrived back from a Portland extravaganza with Claire and Amber. I immediately went to check on her. I still have leftover makeup and my dress on from the night before… Yikes.

She was a beautiful young woman. I have to find some pictures to put up. She always thought I got my eyes from her. I remember her telling me this story of some football player coming up to her and telling her she had ‘sexy eyes’. She would blush every time she told that story.

I am pretty sure my grandpa was the only man she ever dated. They were high-school sweethearts and were together from then on. He passed away when my mom was 19 or so. She went on one date after he passed, and decided my grandpa Phil was her one true love and never dated again. What’s odd is that he passed away on my birthday, obviously years before I was born. My Grandma always said it was the saddest day of her life until I came along.

My Grandma was diagnosed with MS when she was in her 40’s I believe. No one had  really heard of it back then, so some of her friends thought she was crazy when she spoke of losing her balance or walking sideways into things. She hated being in a wheelchair. But she was so brave and so so so sweet. She never really complained. She just hated that people had to help her do things. She was a really independent and was as self reliant as she possibly could be.

When I was young there was a time period when we all basically lived with her. Or that is how I remember it. My cousins and I would play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was the only girl so I always had to be April. We would all pile onto her electric wheelchair and ride it full speed (aka slow as hell) down the ramp and around the neighborhood.

My Grandma had a sweet tooth to match her sweet personality. All she ever wanted was candies and cookies and cakes, and in the end we just gave her whatever she asked for. Her parting wish was basically to be fed bon bons… Done. She absolutely loved Jeopardy and Antique Road Show. And her favorite movie ever was the BBC version of ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

She was such an incredible woman. She was the least judgmental person I have ever met. She always saw the good in people and the positive of situations. She really wanted to help people, especially her family. I got so much from her and love her so much. I have many stories about her. The whole story surrounding her passing is definitely one of my wildest ever. But I will save that for another day.

I love you Grandma, forever and always….

XoXoX- Caela

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