Social Distancing: Happy Birthday To My Grandma

I celebrate my grandma's 90th birthday after the pandemic kept our family apart for the big day


COVID-19 is upending nearly everyone’s lives right now. Even if you’re lucky and no one you know has it, or lost a job over it, the impacts can still feel overwhelming.
I’ve been pretty lucky so far, but there is one thing that really bites about this pandemic this morning.

This is my grandma. April 8th is her 90th birthday. My whole family was supposed to get together over the weekend and celebrate the milestone in Wyoming. But alas, the coronavirus scuttled that plan. But I want to tell you a little bit about her, because she deserves to be celebrated.

She was born Vivian Fern Dieleman in 1930 in Lost Springs, Wyoming, a town with a current population of four.
She goes by Fern, which is just an awesome name!
She grew up during the Great Depression, when a trip to get a burger and a coke was extravagant.
But she learned to be resilient and worked her way through school before settling down.

She married my grandpa, Harold Ladwig, in 1948.
They raised three boys together and were darn near inseparable the whole time. My grandpa died five days after their 70th wedding anniversary back in 2018.

She was an amazing artist. She has more state fair ribbons than you can shake a paintbrush at. I keep a painted saw blade she made at my desk.
And you know, it sucks that I couldn’t see her like I wanted to. But I think she’s handling this pandemic better than I am. I called her over the weekend and she said she just has to make it to 91 now so we can have a do-over on the celebration next year.

If you want to tell her happy birthday, shoot me a message on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll relay the message. And tell me your family’s stories! Are you missing a birthday party during this? A graduation? Share their story! We’ll help you celebrate.

Categories: Morning – In The Studio