On July 1, 2016 Nancy Towns passed away in her sleep in a nursing home in Whitehouse, Ohio. She was my father’s mother. On July 4, 2016 Jaime Hilliker passed away suddenly from a heart attack on the side of the highway in Houghton, Michigan. She was my mother’s mother. She lived in a house her children and husband of 49 years built in 1994 in Rockford, Michigan. I spent almost more time in that home than I did in my home in Toledo, Ohio when I was growing up. We spent Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s and countless summer nights in that home and working in the yard. Memories were shared, tears were shed, inside jokes were created and a home was made. A house is just a house until it becomes a home.


As we say goodbye to the house, we say our final goodbye to grandma but we redefine what makes a family.

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