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 Grandma's House 

Series of digital photographs and 35mm color film taken for St. Norbert College photography class in 2010. Printed in a photo book after Grandma (Oma) Ada Christian passed away in 2019. 

In Loving Memory of Grandma (Oma) Ada Augusta Christian

9.24.1926 – 12.27.2019


Eulogy Written by Samantha Haas and Read by Pam Bartee

Ada had a way of making everyone feel special --- whether you were with her in person or talking on the phone. 


When she got the giggles, her eyes would squeeze shut, her hand would cover her wide smile, and her whole body would erupt in laughter often before she made a sound. And soon the whole room would be smiling and laughing, too. Her joy was contagious. 


To me, she’s been more than Grandma. She’s also been a lifelong friend --- someone who has always listened without judgment, cared beyond measure, and made the world a brighter, kinder place. A true gem.


The ways we’ve spent time together have changed over the 30 years I’ve known her --- just a fraction of her 93 years on earth. 


Some of my fondest memories are from her house on North Fourth, where the whole family would gather for meals and games during the holidays. Even more family and friends would show up during Riverfest for fireworks and the Fourth of July when the parade went by. 


In the early 90s I would pack my pink “Going to Grandma’s House” suitcase and have a sleepover --- playing with the blue ball, curling up with the fuzzy blue blanket, talking to “Pretty Bird” the blue parakeet, and listening to grandma and grandpa talk in German.


Then in the 2000s, Grandma’s House would be the starting point for rummage sale excursions on weekends, a meeting place before high school dance photos at the park, and an after school/before practice stopover filled with canned pickles, Sammy bars, and, of course, lots of hugs. While visiting, the phone would often ring or Wheel of Fortune would be on, but she still made me feel like the only one in the world. 


For the first three years of the last decade, I spent nearly every lunch break at Grandma’s House while I worked at the Daily Times. When she wasn’t gone playing cards she would make a meal for us, we would catch up about the day, and sometimes play Yahtzee if time allowed. Although I told her she didn’t have to, she still saved each newspaper I had a photo or article in. Because that's just the kind of person she was. 


When I moved to Madison six years ago, phone calls outnumbered our in person visits --- but I cherished each one. And while she often joked to me about the tone of her own singing voice, each year I could always count on getting a happy birthday call from her -- loud and proud. As if I could hear her smile. 


Even after she moved out of her house this summer, each visit still ended with a hug, a kiss, and an I love you.


Here it is 2020, and I’m writing this back at Grandma’s House, but it feels empty without her here. Because now she's in her forever home, where she wanted to be. 


So one last time I’ll water your flowers on the shelf before I leave. And as I back up and beep the horn, I’ll wave to the window where you would always be watching. And I’ll take my memories of you with me wherever I go. 


Thank you for your love. 

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