Bonnie Mae Brian Seliger (March 4, 1927 - November 2, 2010) - Grandma Seliger was my step-dad's mom but thought of us as her grandkids just the same. Grandma Seliger was a very neat lady and we were lucky enough to spend special time with them growing up. On Sunday, Grandma Seliger will accompany me on the 1.2 mile swim as she is the lady who taught me how to swim many, many years ago. Her tactics may have been unconventional but a whole generation of Seliger's learned how to swim because of her. "Camp Grandma" is where I was introduced to cicada's, the art of microwaving Jell-O pops, making homemade stationary, The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band, Dr. Pepper, swimming and many more things. I will always cherish the time I spent in Lubbock, Texas.
Angela Loffredo Cerami (March 23, 1919 - February 1, 1995) - Her whole life, Grandma Cerami insisted she was "Angeline" but when my mom found her birth certificate (or some other important document), it showed "Angela". Grandma Cerami was something else. As a little girl, I remember visiting her after having already eaten only to find that she had prepared enough spaghetti to feed a village...and not a small village. Telling her we weren't hungry meant nothing as she expected us to eat. There were many years I didn't get to see my grandparents but I wrote to them often and called when we could. After many years of being away from Buffalo, I got to go back to visit my family and see my Grandma. She was sick with breast cancer and we knew she probably didn't have long to live. As long as it had been since I had seen her in person, she was just how I remembered. I am so glad I was able to go back and spend time with her as an adult. A few months after my 20th birthday, Grandma Cerami passed away. I was given a rosary that belonged to her and I will have that with me as I run (jog) 13.1 miles. I figure the rosary is easier to carry than one of her cookbooks!!
Some of you reading this may think this is cheesy or even odd and that's ok. For me, it's a way to remember three people who had a huge impact on who I am today. Without them, or anyone in my life, I wouldn't be where I am and I wouldn't be attempting to do what I'm going to do on Sunday.
Rest in peace Bonnie, Hazel & Ang!! I love you all and I hope we have a lot of fun come Sunday!