Celebrating the Life of Marian Gribi
(July 10, 1922 - September 29, 2007)

October 14, 2007 at "The Land"

Created 12/30/07 and maintained by Gerri
Updated 2/8/13

If you'd like to add pictures (under 75k please) your own recollections about the day or have a "penny" story to share,
please send them to me

Still Celebrating!

8/2/12 - Mama sends a special penny for Charlie's 90th Birthday Bash

The Roost!

Honoring Great Grandma July 2010

Dad visits The Roost Spring 2014

Gerri's recollection written 10/15/07

I think the "memorial service" was absolutely lovely and appropriate. Pete and I drove Charlie out, and along the way he pointed out all their favorite haunts, but not in a maudlin way: Williamsburg is where we came out to dance to live music once a month, etc. Boy...those 2 really got around to do their dancing!! We stopped for lunch at a little diner they used to go to, one of those places where everything is homemade.

Everybody had brought along pictures to tape up on the wall, and we all had different ones... like mine were mostly of when I'd visited them in Florida or they visited me in Green Bay, or from my various gigs she'd travelled on with me. So we milled around, eating snacks and looking at pictures and explaining them to the younger generations until we gathered together and Mary Beth read a poem, "The Dash Between." Then we walked down to a little clearing where Steven had installed a bench, and together we recited the "Memorare" (as they had done every night of their married life for over 65 years) and the Family Prayer, then I sang Ave Maria while the great grandkids sprinkled the ashes and laid wildflowers they'd picked from the woods. (I don't know exactly how much they understood the details about all this, but Micky had asked "Who wants to help spread great grandma's ashes?" and of course after the boldest ones hand shot up, so did all the rest.)

I looked at that tiny pile of ashes lying in the dirt and choked thinking "That's all that's left after 85 years??" Then I looked around me at all the kids and grandkids and great-grandkids and thought "No, THIS is what's left after 85 years!"

Charlie had brought a white helium balloon and tied a note to it, and we played one of mama's (many!) favorite dance tunes "Una Paloma Blanca" as he released it. He'd brought 2 balloons just in case the first one didn't work out. When he released the first one with the note, it shot straight up. So a few seconds later he said "Well, this one will be for me" and he let the second one go. The first one continued to soar straight up, but the second one fell back down, waffled and wavered left and right, and we all laughed and said "Charlie...it's not your time yet!" His balloon eventually just landed over in some trees, making the ascent of the first one all the more dramatic. We could see it for a good 10 minutes because just when we'd lose sight of it, the white would reflect the sun and make a bit of a flash in the sky. We were all laughing and waving at it and then eventually, it was just too high up to see anymore, so everybody got back to what they were doing...playing in the creek, setting off little fire crackers, etc.

Several years ago, mama was excited about a segment she'd seen on Oprah about "pennies from heaven." She said that when you find a penny, it means a departed loved one is thinking about you. She said melodramatically "So see, someday when I'm gone, I'll send you a penny, and then you'll know I'm thinking about you." Of course I laughed at her and looking back, it was partly because I never really believed she'd ever "be gone."

Later, as the rental-car shuttle dropped us at the airport doors, I flashed on the zillions of times I'd left before, and how she'd always jump out of the car to give me one last hug and I'd say "I hate long goodbyes" and she'd cling tightly to me and say "I know I know I know" and then I was on my way through the doors, looking back to wave one more time and always with a sinking sensation as the doors clicked shut behind me that this "goodbye" could be our last. This day the doors clicked shut behind me with such finality that I started to cry, looked down, and saw... A PENNY! I picked it up and started laughing and crying simultaneously. But mostly laughing.

Sometimes her timing is impeccable...and I'm glad she sent my penny after I went through the doors so I'd know she was heading home with me.

Micky's Penny Story

My penny story happened a few weeks after the service. Several people had spent the weekend and I was cleaning up. I made a trip up to the loft with some bedding and I always check the floor to see if the kids left anything. There was nothing. I continued what I was doing and on my final trip upstairs there was a penny laying right in the middle of the floor. I kept the penny and it is on the windowsill at the cabin.

Another story involves Nathan. In early December he had his first concert at middle school. On the way out there was a shiny new penny right where we were standing. Steven made the comment that it was Grandma Marian's way of saying she was here and she was proud of him.

Pete's Penny Story

The first day back at school, Pete was in the stairwell when he heard something clattering down the steps and one of the students said "Oh...it was just a penny." A few days later as he was biking to school he was thinking about Mama, feeling a little blue, and regretting he hadn't made some effort to find his penny. He looked down just in time to see a penny in the intersection as he crossed the street! So he crossed back over and retrieved it...it was pretty beat up from traffic but hey...is that Mama's problem?

Mary's Beth's Penny Story...Ok, so this one is actually a Half Dollar Story (as told to Gerri)

Way back when we still lived on McKeone, Mama used to collect Kennedy half dollars. (Can you remember the last time you saw one of those?) Then unfortunately one of MB's teenaged friends (who shall remain nameless!!) stole them. So fast forward to years later, on the night of Mama's farewell, and the entire Rampleman household is trying to get Zander to go to sleep, which he cannot do because his beloved Horsey is missing. As he's crying unconsolably, they're tearing the house apart. Then Sarah notices a Kennedy half dollar on the floor in front of the linen closet, and when she bends over to pick it up, she sees Horsey sitting on the bottom shelf of the closet! So Zander was reunited with his buddy, but Mary Beth also got a tweaking reminder of the time her friend swiped Mama's half dollars...she always did have a sense of humor!

Tony's Penny Story

The day after Mama's farewell, Tony went golfing. He was leaning against the bumper changing out of his cleats when he noticed a bright penny on the ground, and without thinking much about it, he picked it up and put it in his pocket. He hadn't heard about Pennies from Heaven, until he got home and found Gerri's email sharing the story!

May 2008 Another Penny Story from Tony

On Mother's day Tony was doing some remodelling work around his house, which included cutting a hole in the wall. When he went down to the basement to clean up the mess that had fallen down between the walls, a penny came tumbling out. It was a 1949...the year he was born. Coincidence?

March 2009 Another Penny Story from Tony (who shared his 60th birthday in Disneyworld with Pam and Morgen)

...so we get into Disney on Friday afternoon check into the hotel go swimming and then to Epcot for a dinner with the princesses....very cool but.....

the next morning as we are leaving for the Magic Kingdom Morgen finds a penny on the floor on the way out of our hotel and as she picks it up she looks at me and says....grandma Alma must me thinking of me!
I just about cried......

Mom would have loved it ..........

August 2009 - Another Disney Penny Story

Micky, Ray, Steve, Cathy, Michael and Samuel were spending the week in the Treehouse at Disney. There was a plastic bin with pool towels on the porch for them to use. When they got down to the bottom of the bin, you'll never guess what they found...A PENNY! Mama sure loved Disney World, so I'm glad she seems to be visiting it a lot!

February 2013 - You CAN take it with you!

Little Madeline is quite the saver - she's been socking away her birthday money, etc. Grandma Micky told her she should loosen up a bit because "you can't take it with you."

Madeline replied Great Grandma must have taken some with her, because how else could she be sending us pennies!

Tony's Pictures 10/14/07

By: Danny Richard Hahlbohm

I read of a man who stood to speak At a funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone From the beginning... to the end.
He noted that first came her date of birth And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time That she spent alive on earth...
And now only those who loved her Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own The cars...the house...the cash,
What matters most is how we live and love And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard... Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left, That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough To consider what's true and real,
And always try to understand The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger, And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives Like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect, And more often wear a smile...
Remembering that this special dash, Might only last a little while .
So, when your eulogy's being read With your life's actions to rehash...
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how we spend our dash?

Revisit Thanksgiving 2006 for a little of that "dash between!"

Our Family Prayer - Disneyworld, Thanksgiving, 1981

Lord, we ask you to accept our gratitude for your gifts to us,
especially for the ability to recognize our differences and not let our love for each other be diminished because of them.

We thank you for the knowledge that anyone of us in need will bring unquestioned response from the rest of us. May your loving care for us continue overflowing until that time when we are all safely in your bosom for eternity. We pray that until that time, the bond of love uniting us will continue to strengthen. Amen.

July 2008 & 2009 - Celebrating Mama's birthday down at the Roost!

Since July 10 was Mama's birthday, we got together again in 2008 and 2009 to celebrate like we always did.
We started at Cruisers Diner in Seaman, Ohio. In 2008 we took a corner booth and as Micky and Tony scooted
together toward the middle of the corner, they looked down simultaneously and saw on the seat...
you've guessed it by now...a penny!

Isn't this a fine looking (and well fed) group! From left to right:

Mary Beth, Ray, Charlie, Micky, Tony, Gerri and Pete

Down at The Land Charlie has built a little retreat in Mama's honor and memory.

It is of course situated on Marian Lane! Here's Gerri hamming it up as usual.

It has lots of windows and light, something Mama always liked about our old house on McKeone.

It's a great place to spend some time with her, a place for anyone to relax, to meditate...and sometimes to have slumber parties. (Well, the littler kids do that. Mary Beth would keep us awake all night.)

While it was being built there were a lot of names being tossed around, (we were afraid that in the usual creative naming tradition that gave us The Land, it would end up being called The Building.)

But then one day Charlie was struck with the idea of calling it The Roost because "Mama always wanted all her chicks around." She still has a way of making her wishes known!

In a glass enclosed display case inside the Roost are memorabilia ...

...such as her rosary, bingo money pot, photos,
a deck of cards with a Green Bay Packer's logo etc..

Here's a closer look at the picture in the frame. Sixty-five years separate these 2 images and yet they're so much alike!

The "chicks" at their worst...some people just never grow up!
I can hear Mama saying "Ah, come on you guys...you're spoiling a nice picture!"

That's more like it!

July, 2010

Gone but never forgotten!

Emma and Samuel honoring Great-Grandma with flowers by The Roost.

July 2010

August 2, 2012 - Charlie Gribi's 90th Birthday Celebration

For over 3 years many of the "chicks" have been getting together on Thursday for lunch at Chick-fil-A,
so it seemed the perfect place to celebrate Charlie's 90th Birthday.

As usual the kids headed to the play area after their meal, and Michael came running
back to show everybody that "Grandma sent us a penny!"

And it wasn't just any penny he found...it was a 1922 penny!!

August 2, 2012 - Charlie Gribi's 90th Birthday Celebration

Charlie Gribi Visiting The Roost for Daffodil Fest - 2014!

Micky and Madeline - 2014