Memories of Her

I have to start with a bit o’ brag.  BlogHer has spot-lighted my post on Blogging Turn On’s and Turn Off’s.

Yay!  Take a minute to go see me there?  Thanks!


Every year my mom or one of her three sisters has the entire family over for Father’s Day to celebrate my Grandpa and all the dads in the family.

This used to be the tradition for Mother’s Day as well.

But Mother’s Day was super special because we were also celebrating my Grandma’s birthday, and I loved my Grandma.

My Grandma Jo as I remember her

This is in the past tense because my Grandma Jo passed away 10 years ago.

Not a Mother’s Day passes that I don’t stop and think about her and all she’s given me that I was never able to thank her for.

Everything about this year reminds me of her.

The yellow tulips remind me of her favorite flower and her love of taking her grandchildren to the annual Holland Tulip Time Parade.

Easter Sunday reminds me of the egg hunts she created for all of us and how she made us empty our baskets when we were done and count out the same number of each candy for everyone.

Church reminds me of her singing hymns to herself in her quavering old lady voice, that I always found to be beautiful.

My Grandma taught me so much of what it is to be a strong woman…and she will never know her impact on me.

My Grandma Jo taught me…

  • It’s ok to be alone.  In fact, you can gain peace and strength by it.
  • It’s ok to NOT have a man.
  • It’s a wonderful thing to find the right man.
  • family is something to celebrate.
  • no matter what your life throws at you, your family will love you.
  • that small things are the best
  • children are the most precious gift–whether they are yours or not
  • childhood is something to be savored because it is gone too quickly.
  • you don’t ever really have to grow up.  Be an adult, yes, but grow up?  No.
  • that blind faith is ok, and sometimes necessary.  There are a LOT of things I don’t understand, but that is ok.
  • when in doubt?  Yodel.

The day I found out about my first miscarriage I was so afraid, the first thing I did was to take my Grandma’s Bible off my shelf and open to a random page.

It fell open to Psalm 146, which she had underlined “Happy He who Trusts in the Lord.”

There is almost nothing underlined in her entire Bible.

But that?  Gave me comfort as I went into one of the scariest, most emotional tumultuous times of my life.

I wondered how many times in her life Grandma had looked at that passage to find strength.

My Grandma was the strongest woman I knew.

And she helped me know that I could be strong too.

To honor a woman in your life for Mother’s Day, Clever Girls and Heart of Haiti is offering you a special discount code for 15% off when you purchase a gift of Heart of Haiti or Rwanda Path to Peace products between May 3-8.  Just in time for Mother’s Day!

Just shop Macy’s’ Shop for a Better World/Heart of Haiti Collection, and use the code CLEVERGIRLS at check out to receive your discount.

If my Grandma was around, I would get her this because she LOVED bright colors.  It is also fitting because my beautiful Grandmother died of Alzheimer’s and if I could give her back her memories, I would.

Heart of Haiti Vase of Memories


And if I was making a Mother’s Day list for myself? I would love the Vase of Memories too, but  I would probably also add this to my list:

Heart of Haiti Tree of Life Frame

What woman are you honoring this Mother’s Day and why? Share with me!

I was selected for this very special “CleverHaiti” opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity. All opinions are my own.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. How sweet. And a really cool vase! Will have to check that stuff out for sure.

    I’m also thinking of my grandma. She is 99 years old and was pretty darn healthy until this week. She got shingles and is in extreme pain. Can’t walk because of it. She’s been in the hospital and is suffering dementia. The change of routine, environment, and pain meds really messed up her thinking. She’s off to a nursing home in the morning. We hope as her shingles heals and she can wean off pain meds, she will become more lucid. She’s 99 years old and my hero. I hope we get to hang on to her for a while longer!

  2. My grandmother died 20 years ago and I still think about her every day. The one thing I regret is really getting to know her better. The older I get, the more I see the similarities between us. It’s scary how much alike we were and I wish I could go back and just sit and talk with her. So many questions I would ask.

    • I wish I had gotten to know my grandma better too. She died when I was almost 22. Everything she taught me I didn’t realize until I went through rough spots after she was gone. I never got to talk to her about the rough stuff, ya know?

  3. Thanks for this post. It was beautifully written. I miss my Grandma Betty who was my rock during some tough times when I was a teenager. I dream about her sometimes, and I wonder if that is how she visits me.

    I love your blog so much, I gave you the Versatile Blogger Award on my blog. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Grandma Betty…what a perfect Grandmother name! I also dream about my grandma and I am fairly certain she is in certain things…like yellow tulips 🙂

      Also THANK YOU for the award! What a lovely surprise!

  4. What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I miss my grandmother very much too. She passed away 9 years ago. Some of my best childhood memories are of times spent with her. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Grandma’s are the best! I lost both of mine many years ago, but I still talk to them everyday and find strength in their legacies.

    • I talk to my grandma too! And it reminds me that I should spend more time with the grandma who is still here!

  6. What a great tribute!

    My maternal grandmother passed when I was going on 5 years old and yet I still miss her. I envy my older cousins who got to spend more time with her. Sometimes I ask for her help when I’m in a tight spot, or when I’m ashamed over something I’ve done I wonder what she thinks of me. Isn’t that weird – I was so young when she passed, and it was so long ago…but I guess some things don’t change with time.

    • I ask my grandma for help ALL THE TIME. I ask her what she would do? She had a pretty tough life growing up without much and having a rocky marriage to put it kindly. If I close my eyes I can still feel her soft hands in mine.

  7. Katie, this is so sweet. And I love how your grandmother helped you through a tough time without even being there.

    • she does. she helps me through so much. there are times when I have an overwhelming feeling of emotions because I feel that she is truly walking with me through things.

  8. AH my grandmas…each one of them so special in her own way. My great grandmother is the one I think most of , miss most often. I feel like I was raised by strong women, resiliant stock and funny…gave the best hugs, had the best advice. I talked to all three when I was going through Infertility, would pray and pray to them to give us what we desired, to hold me up when I felt like I would surely drown from the tears.

    I love that your grandma taught you all those things, that she was such a “FORCE” in your life, seeing you today…SHE DID GOOD. 😉

    • I definitely still go to my grandma for advice…even though she isn’t “here”. Although there are times I definitely feel her…she really, really was (and is) a force!

  9. Hi Kate,

    I am just now new to the blog world and stumbled across your blog through your Blogs Turn off’s and Turn On’s post.

    Just thought I would let you know that this post brought tears to my eyes. It was a year on the 24th of April that I lost my grandma. This Mother’s Day will be a little rough. What a great post.

    • Hi Melissa!
      Welcome to Sluiter Nation 🙂
      Grandmas are so special. Many prayers for you this Mother’s Day. Your grandma will be smiling on you, I am sure of it.

  10. This post made me cry. I was very close with my grandmother and she has been gone 15 years this June. I think about her all the time and wish so much she could meet my children.

    When I miscarried, before I knew for sure that I had, but I was bleeding and I was pretty sure…I dreamed of her promising to take care of the baby. So your part about miscarrying and thinking of her really set me off.

    This is a beautiful tribute to her. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman, Kate. I’m so glad that even posthumously, she was there to comfort you when you needed her to.

  12. I love this post. It brought tears to my eyes. I have lost all of my grandparents, all within the past few years. I still think of them so much and ask for their help so often. I’m still so upset that they won’t be here to watch my kids grow up, or to talk me through the hard times.

    Thanks for this post. Your grandmother seems like a very special woman!

  13. Thanks so much for helping me with the comment notifications. I turned off the verification too. I didn’t even know it was on. Ha! Thanks!

  14. I LOVE that vase and may have to buy it for myself!

    Such a sweet post, Katie 🙂