My grandma, June Krueger, recently passed away at the age of 87 after a brief battle with cancer. Looking at Grandma’s obituary, she seemed like any other elderly person you would read about, yet she was so much more than just another old lady that passed away. She was still sassy right to the end. When you think of Grandma you think of love. She was so welcoming of everyone and so proud of her family. She was tough as nails and battled several significant medical problems in her lifetime.
My mom likes to tell the story of when she went into labor with me. She was three weeks past her due date and was happy when I finally decided I wanted out! Already having three children, Mom assumed she had hours before she needed to leave for the hospital. She proceeded to grocery shop and cleaned the house. Grandma followed right behind her urging her to go to the hospital – even threatening not to call for help if my mom did go into labor at home. Boy, was grandma right! I was almost born in the parking lot of the hospital; both my mother and I came close to dying that very night.
Grandma left her small town of Menasha, Wisconsin after she married my grandpa. He joined the Army and they would travel the country. Eventually there would be six children, four boys and two girls. Grandpa was often not around due to his job, so grandma made the best of it raising the family on her own. Even in her later years she knew how to do a lot with a little. Although Grandma settled down in Rockford, IL she still continued to travel, usually to visit her children and grandchildren who had settled in all different parts of the country.
When Grandma June came to visit, boy did you have to be on your toes! She loved to shop and so do I, so we’d often shop ’til we dropped. Grandma would give and give. She did not have much and what she did she would give to her family for birthdays or any other special occasion. When her kids were growing up her home was refuge to many teenagers and young adults who needed a positive place to hang out. She loved company and loved to feed them big meals.
In those early years when I needed medical attention at Madison or Chicago, Grandma stepped right in and took care of my three brothers. During my surgeries I was in Chicago for a long period of time. My mom tried to go home as much as she could, but I needed her with me. My dad was either working or driving me to my next doctor’s appointment out of town. Grandma took care of my brothers like only a grandma can. She never asked for anything in return. She was just happy to be able to help.
One of the last times I saw Grandma, she gave me the best advice. I was on my way home from seeing one of the top Scoliosis surgeons in the United States. After X-rays, an MRI, and an exam by the team of doctors, it was decided he could not help me. To top that off, a snow storm hit and we had to stay another day. We stopped in Rockford on the way to St. Louis. Grandma was feeling very sick when we visited and was getting weak. I walked into her bedroom where she rested in her recliner. She said something like, “They can’t help you, well, you made it this far didn’t you?”
Grandma never liked much fuss over her. It’s hard not to fuss when one of your heroes is taken away. I feel like the world should stop and people should scream from the roof tops. Grandma June’s passing should be front page news. Tears should flood the earth. Grandma was proud of us and we were proud of her. We all were so blessed to have her in our lives for so long. Grandma June is someone you should try to aspire to be like.
Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.