Wanda Hinkle, Step-Grandmother, In Memoriam

My step-grandmother passed away at 98.

Those are amazing words to say because few people LIVE to 98.  Wanda in fact lived on her own until 96.  She only stopped driving a few years before that.

It’s funny, the stereotype of someone who lives to a ripe old age is one of some ornery old person out of a sitcom.  Wanda was quite the opposite, polite and genteel and quiet.  Strong-willed, but strong more like a flow of water than iron – and very enduring.

She broke a door down with an axe to get to her husband when he had a heart attack.  I was young then, and it was a reminder of just how much there was to the woman.  The admiration stayed with me.

She got to live to 98, see her great-grandchildren grow to adulthood.  She was alive through wars and moon landings, the internet revolution and the Civil Rights movement.  She got to see the century that made the US what it is.  Quiet, and unassuming, loving wife and mother, she saw all of that, and kept going, raising a family and their families, keeping it all together.

I feel sad seeing her pass.  I’m on the other side of the country so I feel like I should have been there.  I feel sad for everyone missing her, the huge family that she was matriarch of.  I feel sad to see a life end.

But what a life.  What things to see.  What a remarkable woman, wife, and mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.

Here’s to you, Grandma Hinkle.  98 years, and every year worth it.

– Steve, your loving Grandson