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The Spirit of a Grandmother

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When I think about one person in my life that has touched more people than anyone I know, I think about the matriarch of the Jackle family – Cleda Sophia Jackle.  My daughter Sophia is proudly named after her.  My grandmother who has lived for 97 years(this month) has seen more things, touched more lives, inspired more people, and shared more memories than anyone I know. Words can not begin to tell you the impact she has had in our lives. 

We both share the same birth month.  Every year, like all her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, I receive a birthday from her. This year was no different. I received my usual card for my birthday. 

This year is different in another sense though as she had a massive stroke this past weekend and is currently in coma.  The doctors have consistently said that is not a matter of “if” she will pass but “when” she will pass since the stoke. Since then, my mind has been consumed with memories and various inspirations from my grandmother.

At my wedding in 1997, she and my grandfather had been married for over 65 years.  Their toast was that they had the marriage record and it was up to us to break it.  My grandfather passed on a few years later just before the birth of my first child. He knew she was coming, but did not live to meet her.

Grandma is known for her cooking. I know you have heard that before from people. Everyone thinks that their grandmother is the best cook in the world.  In fact, I told my wife one time when we first started dating that grandma cooking will blow her away.  She nodded and smiled cordially.  Subsequently, she visited the Jackle farm to experience her cooking and agreed that she of a one of a kind cook.  One of my most treasured possessions is a hand-written recipe/cook book that has all her recipes that she gave all the children and grandchildren one Christmas.  We still use it frequently today but can not match the magic that she puts in her cooking. It is as close as it gets though!

Over the years, Grandma had accumulated various photos of her children and grandchildren. While she was in her 80s at the time, She made each of us a very special present.  She sorted the photos and made each of a scrap book that featured us as individuals from childhood to adulthood.

The list could go on….

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This past year, we all gathered in the tractor shed for Thanksgiving due to the large number of Jackles that were in attendance.  Grandma is giving the blessing for the entire family.  She also wrote a special blessing for the great grandchildren that she delivered later with them in their own special huddle.

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She is a leader. Here is leading the Thanksgiving dinner line.

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This image sums up my grandmother. Her life focuses on God, family, and Food.

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I am sure they are solving the world’s problems in this conversation with Grandma, my uncle Bob, and my Father (on the right with his back to the camera).   She always keeps up with what is happening in the world.

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Grandma, Dad, and my step mother Ginger sitting in unison connected as one.

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Grandma, Dad, Ginger, my brother Dave, my sister Sue, and me. Three generations of Jackles.

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Grandma, Dad, Ginger and both sets of her “Dennis Jackle” great grandchildren which includes both Sue and my kids.

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My sister Sue, her husband Marty, and Grandma.

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My brother Dave with Grandma.

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My dad is definitely a momma’s boy.  Here they share a laugh over dessert.

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I love me some Grandma!!!

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