June 23, 1932 – A Beautiful Life Was Born

Gisela Else Hubel (1932-2017)

Gisela Else Hubel, 84 of Caseville, passed away peacefully Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017, at her home under the care of her family and Heartland Hospice, having suffered from COPD and Alzheimer’s. Gisela was born June 23, 1932, in Elbing, West Prussia, to the late Paul and Else (Gudtka) Bradtke, the second oldest of six children. In 1953, she met her future husband, Francis Hubel, while he was stationed in Germany as a soldier in the U.S. Army of Occupation. They were married Jan. 15, 1955, in Bremerhaven, Germany. They moved permanently from Garden City to Caseville in 1995. Gisela was a wonderful cook, the best mother and wife, and loved camping and walleye fishing. In her last years, she enjoyed riding around in her golf cart, going to the beach, and watching wildlife. She is survived by her loving husband, Francis J.; sons, Timothy of Pigeon and James (fiancee Denise Potchynok) of Flint Twp; grandchildren, Rachel Conrad and Dylan Hubel; great-grandchildren, Josey and Juliette; and siblings Doris Posner, Hanelore Fitz and Bernd Bradtke, all of Germany. She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Inge Jessen and brother, Dieter Bradtke. A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 22 at the Champagne Funeral Chapel of Caseville with Rev. Karen Bouverette officiating. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday and continue until the time of the service. Condolences may be shared at www.cfcCaseville.com

Published in Huron Daily Tribune on Apr. 18, 2017

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…you’re probably wondering “where’s Stacy in this?”, right?

Well that’s the thing. Sadly, my selfish, self absorbed family left me out and included my children (although never meeting them and spelling their names wrong). Besides, I was her grandchild. She raised me when my parents didn’t/couldn’t. I learned so much from this woman and I was never able or allowed to tell her goodbye. No one let me. My heart still hurts and always will because of this (and I think that’s what they all wanted-except my Grandma). But was it what SHE wanted? Probably not. And that’s what saddens me. My Grandma dealt with a lot of my fathers issues for so many years leading to her death and the least he could have done was given her a drama free memorial about HER and not HIM. He can hate me, envy me, want me dead (so he says) and never want to speak to me again; but don’t steal someone else’s afterlife or chance to say goodbye to someone who was more a part parent then their own father was.

I have good memories of her. Barely anything bad. Nothing really much bad to think about, really. She was always on the go. Moving, cooking, baking, cleaning, organizing, and taking the time to enjoy her granddaughters. We were her world. We’d eat orange sherbet on the couch out of ice cream cones, play barbies in all her fake plants, steal shot glasses from their bar in the basement. We played pool at the pool table. The very one we’d wrap Christmas gifts on each year and set out all the food we spent the entire day preparing. We played on the swing set outside, ran through the sprinklers, rode our bikes up and down the street. And at night time my Grandma always had the BEST videos on tape for us to watch in bed. She did our hair, she let us wear her clothes, she did our makeup and she even let us sit at her vanity and play with her makeup and all those shades of red lipstick. I remember the weather channel was on the televsion 24/7 and she’d dry her laundry on the line outside. She even managed to go around cleaning empty apartments as a side job and taught us how to clean with her. I think of her all throughout my day. And I never noticed it until she was gone. When I use small knives to slice and dice. When I use a ziplock bags to put food in. When I make the taco bake she was so good at making. When I see my daughter playing in the sprinkler. When I decorate for the holidays. When I clean, cook and read books to my daughter. I miss her.

Although I wasn’t allowed to go to her memorial, I did write my very own thoughts to her via the internet (how 2017, right?). I know she can’t read it. Nor could she of heard me at her memorial had I stood up and said them (and I would have had I had the chance). But I speak out loud when I talk to her. And I find myself doing it daily. Or I hear her voice inside my head. I love that I have that memory. Sometimes I hear her jokingly say “goddamn it Francis!” and I just laugh. I’ll never forget that Cheeseburger festival when she kept saying it over and over again to the point we were all laughing so hard we could barely breathe. Then she peed her pants. She’d always buy us all Little Ceasars Pizza and go back and make a fire at the house. We sit around and sing old songs like we did as kids sitting around the campfire. As I grieve the loss of her, I am also grieving the loss of my Grandfather to whom I was very, very close with as a little girl. Grandpa was my everything. I’d help him decorate the house outside on Christmas by going through the strands of lights and finding the lights that didn’t work. I’d play musical instruments with him and even played Jingle Bells backwards! We really did! He always promised me he’d give me those bright yellow shoelaces if I’d ever stop biting my finger nails off. One Christmas he gave them to me. I still have them in a box next to my bed. I always preferred to ride the snow mobile with Grandpa. He was always the safest driver.

This hurts so bad to write but I know I need to. For the sake of being able to look back and know exactly how I felt that day. The day she left us all. And the day I lost them both.

May 9, 2017:

“Dear Gram: I can’t stop thinking about you. I talk to you. I hope you hear me. I hope you remember me saving your life that time when you were in the hospital. You taught me how to cook and clean and how to take care of my husband and family. I think about you in everything I do. The way I clean, the way I cook and the way I celebrate holidays with my children. You gave me memories that can never be taken from me. You are an inspiration and a role model. Easter was very near and dear to my heart because of you. You made every holiday special. You always thought about everyone else. You were so strong to leave your family behind to start a new one in USA. You were the BEST Grandma a little girl could ask for. Thank you for the memories and the ongoing traditions I will pass to my daughters. I promise to tell them about you. I miss you so much some days it hurts. I miss you when I make hot dog soup or turkey for Thanksgiving. Or when I see deer and think “turn around, it’s the law!”. Thank you so much for loving me and for being the parent I never had growing up. May you be in peace and pain free. I can’t wait to see you again one day. I love you Gram. I know in my heart that you know that.

The other day Josie and I were driving and all of a sudden she says “reindeer!” “reindeer, mama!!” and at first I was like what? Deer? In hot Houston?! I said in my head, “turn around, it’s the law” and so I did. And sure enough there they were…a whole bunch of deer just sitting in the grass looking at us. I stopped the car and said “is that you Gram? Are you talking to me?” I left with tears in my eyes and my three-year-old was so happy she saw deer. Oh boy, I remember that feeling. It was as if time was frozen and I had a flash back to that day when I said that. How awesome it was to see all those deer when I was a little girl.
Most recently I kept telling myself that for if I see a hummingbird I will know you’re speaking to me. Strangely enough, I was having a rough day at work, in tears and telling a co-worker how tough my day was. In the midst of telling her, I glanced behind her and saw a photo…a photo of a hummingbird. I stopped what I was saying and told her “forget it. I’m okay.” Right then and there I heard you Gram, you told me it was going to be okay.
April 16, 2017…This day will forever be remembered as the day I lost my father (for good), my grandpa, my grandma (RIP) and my sister.
Today is June 23rd…Happy Birthday Gram. I love you.

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