Dear Amelia

I would venture to say that no one has affected my style sensibilities like my Grandma. I've mentioned her on Adored Austin a lot over the years (most notable examples: my Tribeza feature, the Jane By Design Challenge, and my Minnetonka post). My well documented love for animal jewelry began with a big silver owl necklace from the 70's that she gave to me. I attribute my love of thrift stores to her as well as my desire to add special DIY touches to my outfits. Nearly needless to say, she has wielded a huge influence on my life.

I was three years old when my dad was killed in a helicopter crash serving in the Army, and because he was my primary care taker, his parents took me in after his death. By all accounts, they were done raising kids by the time this scraggy headed three- year- old blew into their lives, but nonetheless, they loved me and raised me, seeing me through my delicate earliest years to my tumultuous teenage years. My grandparents were a mom and dad to me, and I lived with them until my grandpa had a stroke when I was a junior in high school.

My grandma is a tiny thing. She's five feet of concrete with a head full of white hair. She's stubborn and opinionated, but she loves pranks and laughter. She's into DIY projects, and she has never met a yard sale or a flea market that she didn't like. She fills her days with meeting up with friends around our small town, and her evenings are spent doing word searches, watching basketball or baseball on tv, playing bingo, or going to a neighboring town with friends to listen to live music and to see people dance.

Here she is meeting Caroline for the first time this past winter:
[vimeo w=600&h=338] Caroline meets "GGB" (Great Grandma Brewer)
She often says, "The only thing old about me is my hair!", and a part of me thought she would live forever. Sadly we recently found out that this spitfire of a woman and the grand matriarch of our family has colon cancer. Because of her age and heart and the fact that she's tiny (she weighs less than 100 pounds), she can't have surgery nor can they treat her with chemotherapy. It would just be too hard on her. Obviously this news breaks my heart into a million little pieces. Thankfully, she's in high spirits and her oncologist has started her on radiation treatments to shrink the tumor. So far, the radiation treatments don't seem to be slowing her down or diminishing her positive outlook. In fact, when the nurse told her "I'm going to treat you now" at her first radiation treatment, my grandma said, "Well, I wish you'd treat me to some ice cream, too!"

She is a very important woman in my life and I want to spend a little time with her while she's still up and at 'em and her regular, jovial self. She's still living on her own, still visiting with her cronies every day, and still telling her funny stories. For the next few weeks I'll be back in my hometown recording some of these stories and banking these precious memories.

My favorite photo of her. See? Her hair wasn't always so white!

I'll have some sponsored content and a few reviews queued up and scheduled while I'm away, but to be honest, I'm not sure how often I'll be able to post while I'm gone. If you want to stay connected, I'll be on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The kids will be with me, and I imagine we'll have a bit of down time while she rests and gets her treatments.

If you'd like to say a prayer for my Grandma, my family would appreciate it. Her name is Amelia. Also, I'd appreciate any suggestions for ways I can comfort her and my family over the ensuing months. Thanks for always being so supportive in your kind words and prayers.

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