Christi Sonheim, Jill Erbsen, and Liam at the zoo in March.

A few days ago my son’s mom-in-law, Jill Erbsen, died of cancer. She was 55. (Here is the obituary in Salida’s Mountain Mail.)

Jill and I had a unique and special bond: we were both grandmas to little Liam.

Since the kids live in Seattle, I am blessed to see Liam (and now Ethan) on a regular basis. Over the last year and a half, Christi’s parents came out as often as they could from Colorado, often staying at our house. Yet… we would never see them, because, as Jill said once, “We have to get over there to drink up that little boy!”

As grandmothers, we complimented each other.

Jill was a practical, no-nonsense, get-it-done kind of person.

I am a more impractical, nonsensical, lay-on-the-floor kind of person.

Together we were a good “grandma” team.

I still can’t believe that Liam’s “other one grandma” is gone. I will do everything I can to help Liam remember her. Because everyone should have a grandma like Jill.


In Memory of Jill Erbsen