My Grandma

My grandma

Yesterday my grandma passed away. She had battled Alzheimer’s for five years but the past year was so difficult. I went to visit her last weekend and she looked so weak and frail. It was difficult to see her that way. As a historian I wished I had talked to her about her childhood. My grandma was born in 1935 in Bismarck, ND and spent most of her childhood there. When her father, Lyle Gray, received a promotion, they packed up their belongings and left for Minnesota. My grandma graduated from Moorhead High School in 1953 and five years later, in 1958, she married my Grandpa, Alvin Swanson, who was a veteran of the Korean War. I get my love of history from him.


My grandpa has been so strong through all of this. He truly has been a rock, especially for my grandma. It’s just so hard to believe that she is truly gone. I have so many wonderful memories of her when I was a child, getting to spend a week out of my summers with them. Their house in the country seemed….magical. Now that I’ve grown up, the house is still charming but seems so small and empty. I spent hours running around the house with my cousins, playing with the same toys my mom and her siblings played with.

Thank you Grandma for all the wonderful memories. I will always love you.


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