My Grandma – Mary Koenig 1908-2005

by matt on December 22, 2011

Mary Koenig 1908-2005This is the time of year when my thoughts turn to thinking about my Grandma.  It’s not because she passed away on this day back in 2005 at the age of 97.  It’s because she was a great grandma and an incredibly talented baker who always created these extraordinary Christmas cookies that I can still taste today.  While I can’t actually enjoy those cookies today I can feast on all the great memories I have of my Grandma, memories that are today just as sweet as any cookie could be.

My Grandma was born in 1908 in Kewaunee Wisconsin.  I can’t imagine what life was like in Wisconsin back then.  I’m sure if we were transported back in time it would seem like a foreign land.  She attended Presbyterian St. Lukes Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago and worked as a registered nurse.

Mary Koenig 1908-2005

This training really paid off because one year when we were visiting my grandma in Wisconsin I was running around the house playing a wooden flute when I tripped on the carpet and fell puncturing the roof of my mouth with the flute.  My grandma’s training kicked in and she took care of everything while I was rushed to the hospital.  About the only things I remember of that traumatic event was the blood filling the bathroom sink and then the gas mask coming down over my face as I went into surgery.  It’s funny the bits and pieces we remember from long ago.

Mary Koenig 1908-2005But as I get older more of those memories seem to fade away.  Even now I can’t recall all the variations of cookies she made.  I remember my favorite which was white chocolate covered pretzels but there was also a soft jelly filled cookie that I liked.  Even though I can’t recall their names or taste I can still see that big platter of assorted cookies.  If only I had a photograph other than the one inside my head.

This is where photography plays a role in preserving and maintaining memories.  The photos in this post bring back a flood of memories.  The top photo is from Christmas many years ago (year unknown), the next is from a family camping trip we took and the last is a candid I took of her when she was napping or maybe she was just really concentrating on new cookie ideas.  To think that without these photos that spark of memory might be missing.

Time passes so quickly.  My eldest son is now 8 years old but in my mind it seems like just yesterday that he was born.  My youngest started kindergarten this year.  My grandma passed away 6 years ago and yet is seems like just last year we were visiting her and singing Christmas carols.  We all need memories both old and new.  I hope this Christmas you make memories that last a lifetime.

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