Danielle’s Family Minions Story

Danielle's Instant Pot Minion
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Minions. I love minions. My Instant Pot has minions on it, my house is full of them, and I’m often wearing them.

Minion Collage

So what’s the deal? The deal is that minions = family for me. I see them and I think of my family. To better understand, let’s time travel back to 2007 (I don’t know how to make the Wayne’s World dream sound, so use your imagination πŸ™‚ ). This may be long winded, but this is my minion story.


2007 was a big year for me. I finished my Master’s of Music, I got married, and I moved from South Dakota to New York. It was a year full of changes. It was also the year that we were told that my grandma had cancer.

When I saw my grandma at my wedding in 2007, I hadn’t seen her in a few years. She had been to South Dakota to watch me, my sisters and brother in 1999 while my mom received a stem-cell transplant out of state. I think prior to my wedding that was the last time I had seen her. I was so happy that she and my grandpa could make the trip. It was the first time either of them had flown, and the first time they had both traveled that far. I remember it like it was yesterday. We were at our wedding rehearsal, and my grandma walked in, followed by my grandpa. “Grandma – is that you???” I exclaimed. Everyone laughed. Grandma had lost a significant amount of weight, and I barely recognized her. She was always dieting, but had never been successful in losing a significant amount of weight. I vaguely remember what she said, but I do recall it had something to do with pickles and that they were the reason she lost the weight.

Sisters Under Pressure Grandparents

During the wedding, my grandma had an episode. I’m not sure what else to call it, because I didn’t know it was happening. An ambulance had arrived, my husband’s uncle, who is a doctor, helped, and eventually it was determined she was fine and the evening continued.

The wedding cake and gifts were taken to my parents’ the next day. Neemah (my husband) and I stopped over. My grandma helped transfer the leftover wedding cake to the fridge, and our anniversary piece to the freezer. All the while she was eating the frosting off of the serving plate like there was no tomorrow. I was suspicious that the weight loss was more than magic pickles.

Shortly after the wedding we found out grandma had cancer. The weight loss suddenly made so much more sense. Fast forward to November 2009 – I was in my first teaching job, and I had a voicemail from her. I only remember this voicemail because I was late at school organizing music. “Hi Danielle – it’s grandma. I just want to let you know that they got all of the cancer. Okay, love you, bye.” It was short, it was sweet, and I was so happy.

The next time I saw her after the voicemail was Christmas in 2009. I wish I could find the videos I took, because the playback in my head is just too awesome – everyone should be able to see it. You see, she and my grandpa were notorious for bickering. They loved each other, but holy buckets could they argue!

Then my grandparents got a “Wii machine” for Christmas. The Wii sports game that came with the console didn’t work though. My husband and grandpa set out to the store for an exchange, but only after my grandma called the store, tried to negotiate a game only exchange, threatened to call her “lawyer” (someone sharing my grandpa’s name was listed as a lawyer in the phone book, and she never ceased to use this line when she felt it was needed), and eventually conceded that the entire box would need to be given back for a new one.

When the console was hooked up, magic happened. She bowled. My grandpa bowled. And they got along! There was no arguing, and no bickering. My grandpa took time to show her how to use the controller, and there was no fighting. It was seriously one of the most adorable things ever. I don’t remember if she was still sick – I just remember seeing my grandparents get along, and the warm fuzzies that came with it.

May 2010 we were informed that grandma probably only had a few months left to live. The cancer had returned and was aggressive (although, to be honest, I’m not sure if the cancer was ever really gone). One of my good friends, Hope, offered to drive to Ohio with me to visit for the weekend. It was one of the hardest visits. Grandma didn’t look well, she had a colostomy bag, and she primarily stayed on the couch by the bay window. She had strong medication, but she still seemed herself. I remember looking around the house, and couldn’t imagine being there without her.

My family from South Dakota drove up at the end of May. Grandma’s tumors continued to grow, and she was on stronger medication. She would dream and we would have conversations with her. It wasΒ the only comic relief we had as we all began preparing for the inevitable.

Monday, July 5th, 2010 I was with Neemah’s family. I received a call from my family saying that grandma was dying – she was in kidney failure, and likely wouldn’t make it past a day or two.Β My brother came to pick me up, and I spent the next few days with my family. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday….and then Friday. Friday was July 9th, my birthday. Grandma couldn’t die on my birthday. My Aunt Chris told her she couldn’t. Yeah well – grandma was a super stubborn woman. I received the call from my dad around 10:10am Central Time. Grandma had passed. I was born at 10:08am Central Time. She literally held on until my birthday.


So what does this sad story have to do with minions? My grandma was a big part of our lives, and we loved her. But we were in South Dakota, and she was in Ohio. There wasn’t much we could do at that time. On July 9th, 2010, Despicable Me came out. I don’t know why I wanted to see the movie so badly (other than it was my birthday, and we needed some humor), but we trekked across town and saw it in 3D.

Family Despicable Me Photo

It was an evening of laughter, and just some family fun. I fell in love with the minions, and was tickled when Despicable Me 2 came out in 2013. Guess what? We were in South Dakota, so we went to see it πŸ™‚ And then….the Minions movie! Well, they flew and drove to New York so we could see it πŸ™‚ ….and I made shirts. We needed shirts.

Minions Movie Family Photo

Minion Movie Family 2


Minion Family Shirt Back
Each movie we have seen together, plus a little ladybug to represent our grandma. She loved ladybugs.

Every time I see a minion – I’m reminded of my family. It was only fitting that my Instant Pot would be adorned with minion decals.

Danielle's Instant Pot Minion

So what’s next for this minion family? Despicable Me 3 is set to hit theaters next summer, and I have a nephew who has yet to have the chance to partake in this tradition….but I think he’s going to fit right in πŸ™‚

Minion Nephew

Thank you for reading my minion story πŸ™‚ I hope you laughed with me, cried with me, and think of minions as little crazy yellow creatures who have managed to bring a family together at a time when it was needed πŸ™‚




  1. What a sweet heart warming story. I am so sorry to hear about your Grandma but am touched by the sweet story you shared about how you remember her. I love the shirts, too cute!

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